Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:55 am Posts: 27 Location: San Antonnio,TEXAS
We live near two stables (south central Texas) so we could probably get some horse manure for our garden. My question is, is it worth the trouble? Could I purchase something in a bag that would do the trick? If it is worth the trouble, how do we use it? (We have a vegetable garden). Do we put it straight on the garden or in our compost tumbler? Thanks
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm Posts: 2884 Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
The stables probably has a place where they have been dumping manure for years. If so then you can use the old stuff immediately. You can tell if it is old enough by the way it smells. If it smells like fresh soil, then use it now. Otherwise let it compost until it does smell that good.
I use the following method to collect horse manure.
Method Line the inside of the 5-gallon bucket with two trash bags. Fill the bucket/trash bags 1/3 to 1/2 full. Tie off the bags, remove from the bucket, and reline the bucket.
By doing that I have bags which I can carry around without breaking my back. Five gallons of moist manure is more than my hands or back want to lug around. Also these bags can be piled up in a clean car trunk without making a mess.
_________________ David Hall Moderator Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 1:09 pm Posts: 58 Location: Cedartown, GA
Thanks for the tip on methodology! I got some fresh manure from a local stable yesterday and used your method, except that I filled the bags full since the manure was not terribly wet -- literally fresh out of the stalls. I didn't have any problem lifting them and my car stayed clean. And smell-free.
Came home and added it to my existing compost-in-the-making as I turned the bins, stuck a thermometer down there and 24 hours later it's still cold as ever. What I started with was a mixture of soil, half-composted stuff, leaves, lots of kitchen greens and trimmings that haven't done anything but stay fresh during the last month of freezing weather, and a little straw.
I put three layers of manure in the bins, along with all the other stuff. Should I have added more? Are my expectations too high? How can I get this stuff cooking?
Loved the method with the plastic bags, however. Perfect for those of us who don't have pickups.
_________________ Kitty Old age needs wisdom and grace
make sure the hay the horses have been eating hasn't been treated with picloram herbicide. 2-4-d isn't very stable so it breaks down in the composting process but picloram takes years to become inactive. To test the manure fill a 5 gallon bucket with the manure in question and fill the bucket with water. After the water has soaked for about a day pour the water over a broad leaf weed and see if it kills it after another day. It's a good idea to know the inputs for everything you bring into your landscape/compost so you can avoid contamination. Happy Plantin!
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