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10 messages
03/03/2013 at 18:00

Hi there,

We have just collected a trailer full of manure from the local stables.  It was certainly not from a fresh heap, but they could not tell us how long it had been there for.  How can you tell if it is rotted enough to use safely round plants (ornamental, not veg)?  It doesn't smell at all - which I am hoping is a good sign !

03/03/2013 at 18:40

If it does not smell and it started off as manure, it is ready!

03/03/2013 at 20:17

I think if it is sweet or none smelly and crumbly then it's ready to go - takes about 6 months apparently for any chemicals to dissipate ... this from answers to my own recent questions about manure!

04/03/2013 at 16:52

Are you sure the stables have not used any herbicide on the pastures, as the poisonous residue will stay in the dung for years.  From personal experience I would stay well clear of horse manure.  After four years, my garden is only now beginning to get back to normal.

04/03/2013 at 21:39

usually if it doesnt smell it normally well rotted

05/03/2013 at 06:49
jon cob wrote (see)

if looks like dirt and not like straw and manure it is ready.

That is of course if the horse was bedded on straw - many stables nowadays use wood shavings or shredded paper;  Both can be used as manure for the garden, although the wood shavings need longer to rot down and should be stacked in a heap to decompose.  

05/03/2013 at 06:51
jon cob wrote (see)

if looks like dirt and not like straw and manure it is ready.

That is of course if the horse was bedded on straw - many stables nowadays use wood shavings or shredded paper;  Both can be used as manure for the garden, although the wood shavings need longer to rot down and should be stacked in a heap to decompose.  


Sometimes you can buy bags of 'pony poo' on the side of the road.  These are usually 'pickings' from the pasture and do not contain the horse's bedding.  Add them to your compost heap as a fantastic activator.

05/03/2013 at 07:41

We have a small stable 3 doors down and when they go for a ride. for some reason the horses feel the need to relieve themselves right in front of our drive. I usually shovel it up and put it on my compost heap. Every little bit helps!

05/03/2013 at 07:45

My mother tells us that when she was a child and horse drawn vehicles were still quite usual on the streets, she would frequently arrive home from school to find her father waiting by the front gate with a shovel and bucket - he had been standing guard over 'deposits' in the street, staking his claim and warding other gardeners off - but it was beneath his dignity to actually shovel them up; that was his daughter's job 

05/03/2013 at 20:42

Many thanks to all of you for your replies.  We checked with the owner about herbicide today (before I read the post about the chemical now being banned) - she looked a bit shocked !  I think she thought I was suggesting she might have been mistreating her ponies !!  Some swift back tracking was required ...

Anyway, now looking forward to feeding my roses etc.  We are using a bit of land that has recently been reclaimed from lawn, so it needs a bit of beefing up.

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