Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 1:09 pm Posts: 58 Location: Cedartown, GA
I want to bring some manure from a local horse farm into my garden, but since they don't stockpile it, I'll have to pick it up fresh, before they spread it in an unused pasture somewhere.
I have two new raised beds that had cover crops killed by the recent cold wave down here in the deep south. They need lots of material, much more than the compost I'll have ready by spring. I have not been able to find a source for finished compost around here, so I'm left to what I can find/produce on my own.
If I put some of this fresh manure into those raised beds and turned it all under a bit, maybe add some other things like zeolite and molasses, will this be composted enough by spring for planting? Should I make a new compost pile with it instead? I plan to add some to the existing piles when I turn them in a week or so.
_________________ Kitty Old age needs wisdom and grace
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm Posts: 2884 Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
Rather than doing that, pile up the manure and cover it with leaves. Keep the pile moist and let it decompose. It is ready when you mix it up and the entire thing smells like incredibly healthy soil. That should take 5 months or so.
_________________ David Hall Moderator Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum
If you get a pickup bed full buy to 2 bags of shavings and mix with manure(fine cut shavings). If you can get Blackstrap Molasses mix 1/2 gallon of molasses with 1 1/2 gallons of water or enough water so that it will spray through a pump up sprayer. I also mix the molasses and water in a 5 gallon bucket and pour on. The molasses will help your pile break down faster. Turn often adding molasses each time. I do this when I clean horse stall. The manure already has shavings and left over hay in it. Add water to keep it moist as needed. If you fill a bucket full of water and leave it open the chlorine will evaporate within 1 day. Chlorine will kill beneficial bacteria. Also do not use feed grade molasses it has urea and vegetable oil in it. I have had pile ready to use as quick as 3 months when I turned it or maintained it properly.
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