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Manure


by Pippa Greenwood

It's not every year I manage it, but this year we were tipped the wink that a local chap had a good source of quality manure. And just in time to spread some around my fruit.


Manure spread around a fruit treeIt's not every year I manage it, but this year we were tipped the wink that a local chap had a good source of quality manure. And just in time to spread some around my fruit.

A few years ago I had a huge trailer load of manure delivered, only to discover that it was riddled with thin plastic strips, rather like the stuff you find inside a music cassette. Useless. Far too much to pick out and I certainly wasn't prepared to incorporate it into my lovely (albeit rather heavy clay) Hampshire soil. The end result was that I had to pay someone to take it back to where it came from. Another waste of money and another member of the local horsey community who thinks I'm crazy!

This stuff is different: free from junk, seemingly weed-free and a good texture. Indeed it was so perfect that another trailer load has now appeared - the first batch having been added to the main growing beds. This time the fruit is benefitting; a good, deep carpet of the stuff has been applied around the raspberries and fruit trees. Of course I left the bases of canes and trunks clear, as smothering them with manure can lead to rotting. I think I can even hear the plants muttering their appreciation.

It's not too late to do the same, but the source of my compost is a secret ...



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Gardeners' World Web User 17/04/2007 at 19:05

I make lovely liquid feed from comfrey put in a water butt in old tights, put it on most plants, spray on roses had no pests 4 yrs. Stinks but worth it.

Gardeners' World Web User 31/03/2008 at 18:56

Yes, I too have access to some fresh horse manure, mixed with wood shavings. Do I have to wait for it to compost, or can I use it straight away?

Gardeners' World Web User 31/03/2008 at 19:27

I have a very kind friend who runs a rare-breed stables, with goats and mini-horses, who has the most wonderful rotted pile of black gold. As per "Larrtcotter" said in the previous comment above, she is really keen to get rid of it as it is a constantly appearing item.

If I am unlucky, somebody else has beaten me to it and taken half the pile, but our school vegetable patch is full of many carloads of it now and I am looking forward to the resultant vegetables! The only down side has been the occasional glove or once a horse-shoe found in the pile!!!

Gardeners' World Web User 01/04/2008 at 13:59

I have recently read a book called "Compost" by Ken Thompson, who writes that "Strawy stable manure can go straight on the garden". However, if the manure contains wood shavings, it will rob the soil of prescious nitrogen if it is dug into the soil. The answer is to put it on top of the soil as a mulch, which will help to improve the soil structure.

Gardeners' World Web User 01/04/2008 at 15:41

I too have recently received 2 trailers of manure at least 3 year old well rotted, it is more like loam rather than manure smells really sweet. Oh how I have enjoyed spreading it on my borders, I am now hoping for the best flowerbeds in the neighbourhood this summer, you can almost hear the plants saying thankyou. I do have my own compost but there is never enough to mulch all the borders. I too am keeping my source a secret.

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