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Horse Manure

by: la motocycliste

Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 22:33:02 PM PST

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My-Friend-Who-Has-The-Garden and I agreed that the garden desperately needed amendment, so I did a search for compost and found that many of the local stables give away free horse manure. In Steve Solomon's book, Gardening When It Counts, he discusses horse manure and explains that the nutritive value for plants depends on the horse diet- pampered horses make for the best manure. I called one nearby stable, who said that they would load the pickup truck, and that they set aside some older manure for gardeners
la motocycliste :: Horse Manure
I called Territorial Seed, who cautioned that more than two inches of manure wouldn't break down enough to support planting in early April.

So we went out and had the pickup truck filled. What they gave us was steaming hot, mostly broken down with only a few horse apples left. It was exactly enough to spread out two inches over the garden area.

I posted on one website about my find. Another poster cautioned that some hay is grown with herbicides to keep the weeds down. Damn. I checked on local blogs, but no one mentioned a problem with herbicides. It was suggested to not eat any vegetables from the garden until the horse manure had at least 120 days to break down.

Given that what we got was probably at least a month old and probably older, that would support our April plant date. I plan to dig out the compost heap in 2-3 weeks, dump that on top of the manure and till it all into the top 6 inches of soil.

I also plan to do a tomato test with some seeds and some of the horse manure before I till it in. If the seedlings grow, there is no herbicide problem.

Never knew that gardening was so complicated.

A week later, the weeds we dumped the manure on top of are happily growing though the manure.  

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Horse Manure | 2 comments
Yah, they have GMO alfalfa now (4.00 / 1)
So that means RoundUp in alfalfa if they were fed GMO alfalfa and if the horse was actually eating alfalfa.

I understand alfalfa is too 'hot' (protein) and is not fed to horses unless they're pregnant or the horse is not an adult yet.  

Is Joanne out there? (4.00 / 1)
I was looking forwards to her comments. I know she uses horse manure, but she has her own horses and therefore controls their diet.

Since this was a riding, not breeding stable, I doubt very much there were any pregnant mares or fillies

Horse Manure | 2 comments
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