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16/09/2012 at 15:11

Hi everybody on this wet ,windy miserable day in Tenby Wales,allottment on the hill was blowing a gale and very cold socame home and  watching the Ironman runners going passed the window and they look cold,anyway iv got my raised beds all dug and weeded and covered in old carpets now i have some good manure to put either in or on ,question is this, im not planting till after Christmas so do i drop the manure on top and leave open,or drop it on top and cover again or digit in now  and cover or not  im just not shure which is best any advice is good   good luck all


16/09/2012 at 16:37

As long as the manure is well rotted crumbly and sweet smelling then spread it on the beds and lightly cover it.
Save some and put it in the bottom of the potato trenches in spring to give them a good start.
Sweet peas like some good manure under them when planted out but some Peas and Beans make their own Nitrogen so do not need manure. Cabbages will need some lime rather than manure so depends on what you intend to plant.
You could cover it and wait until spring then spread it where needed.


16/09/2012 at 17:30

Frank, is it okay to put fresh horse poo straight on the garden where nothing will be planted 'til spring? No straw or anything in just straight from the field.

16/09/2012 at 23:46

Pam no it is not OK, mix it with your compost making sure it is well dug in and leave. Raw it will burn your plants and as the horse does not have good digestion it will be full of seeds that will grow like mad in your nice fresh soil.
I use it off my Sons heap after it has matured for a couple of years.


17/09/2012 at 08:09

Thanks, Frank. I'll do as you say.

17/09/2012 at 12:12

Palaisglide what is your son eating?

17/09/2012 at 13:10
keiths lemon wrote (see)

Palaisglide what is your son eating?

Horse pies with the shoes still on.


17/09/2012 at 14:46

I hear that they were popular during the war.

17/09/2012 at 15:38

If horses have a non-conducive digestive system for manure heaps, and weeds grow in the soil from therewithin, why is it recommended to use fresh horse muck for hot beds ??? All these different opinions seem to cancel each other out .

17/09/2012 at 16:10
It's the heat generated by the decomposing fresh manure which makes the hot bed work. The fresh manure is covered by 20-30cm of planting medium, and when it's all done its thing, the manure is removed to completely rot down before being applied to open ground.
17/09/2012 at 16:24
Peat Ballan wrote (see)

If horses have a non-conducive digestive system for manure heaps, and weeds grow in the soil from therewithin, why is it recommended to use fresh horse muck for hot beds ??? All these different opinions seem to cancel each other out .

Good question, why use fresh manure.
Our hot beds were a wooden box made by my Father into which would go straw then a good layer of fresh manure more straw and a good covering of soil.
The heat caused by the reaction of the fresh manure would raise the temperature of the soil into which we could plant those items needing some root warmth to grow, Dad would grow a melon on the hot bed a luxury when I was a kid.
ON the farm where there was a heap of organic or animal waste mainly horse dung a hole would be dug in the steaming pile some soil shovelled in and a plant put in to grow on the rising warmth helping the plant.
At the end of its use the whole box was emptied straw and all onto the compost, we had a large brick midden full of the stuff, my job was to fork it over now and then and then the now mature horse manure would go in the base of the potato trenches or be spread on the soil as it was dug over.
There were no organic fertilisers for gardeners back then and electric cable warming boxes with thermostat which I have now would have been beyond the reach of gardeners, forever putting a penny in the meter.
Boxes of seed or seedlings could be put on the hot bed to give some bottom heat, a couple of batons across the top with the boxes on the batons would raise them so it was not too warm for some plants.
Any seed in the mix would be killed by the rising heat and smothered by the straw.

17/09/2012 at 16:57

Hi Palaiseglide memories eh? many thanks for the info Frank, ill take all that in and use it, weve decided to keep to about 5 basics for growing next year ,new spuds old, carrotts,beetroot runner beans etc all the stuff we spend money on, if i get a polly tunnel we could do salad,  this is our first year so any advice is always good for us

godd luck matey  Alan4711  

17/09/2012 at 17:47

Yes Alan, memories of my father feeding us and our extended family who did not have gardens from his walled garden during and after the war. Those times appear to be back as people have to watch what they spend although they also find the true taste of produce straight from the garden, wash the soil off and into the pan. The huge store could have had the Veg out back for weeks and it starts to lose taste the second it is pulled.
It is not easy and you have mishaps, bad summers, disease, dry spells or too much rain, gardeners need the patience of job but it is worth it. By sowing in batches you can have fresh food from early spring to late Autumn and once you do it will be hard to stop.
Good luck and the people on here are friendly and helpful so just ask.


17/09/2012 at 21:18

With the 'hot bed' system......... would it be at all feasable to make up the bed for the over-winter spell, and then, when it has served it's purpose, move the bed frame along to more or less re-position it alongside the 'spent' patch, and then do it all over again, thus gradually conditioning , manuring and feeding the whole of the garden in a few years ?  I was thinking of making a bed area of about 2 metres by 4 metres, or perhaps 0.5 of a metre smaller if it seems too large and heavy to handle. These salvaged double glazing units get quite similar to sheets of iron in their sturdiness !  All OK for quick dismantling and wotnot.



17/09/2012 at 23:09

Peat Ballan, why would you bother moving a heavy frame around the garden when all you need do is spread the compost dig it in and plant.
The hot beds I saw used would be set up in the new year early to give heat for things you wanted early.
I think you assume the horse manure would leech into the ground under the box, well it was usually in an unwanted spot that got light but shelter from the cold winds, easy for us with a walled garden.
The base was a covering of straw bales then raw manure then more straw and a covering of soil, you had to wait for it to get up to heat, an old thermometer came in handy. These days I would use a sand box with cables and a thermostat, same result a lot less work and more control.
Horse manure in now more usually mixed with wood chippings where we once used straw, a much better mix for rotting down than wood chip but straw is expensive and in short supply, wood chip cheaper cleaner and plentiful.
The problem with any kind of wood used in manure or as mulch it takes the Nitrogen out of the ground so not recommended, well not by me.


18/09/2012 at 17:23

Hi Frank,   it's all coming clearer now. The 'manure' as we so coyly call it, is brought direct from the local stables, with copious amounts of straw in it. Geet lovely stuff, but I find that straw does seem to last a helluva long time before rotting down. it seems more of a 'feel good' factor then a 'do good' one. The best thing I saw coming out of straw was a hare, the other day !

I  shall suck it and see, as the old saying goes..

18/09/2012 at 17:43

Peat Ballan, if you have straw in it then it is not rotted down and not ready to put on the garden.
Well rotted manure is crumbly in the hand and sweet smelling and that is after one or two years depending on the size of the heap and heat generated.
Mix it in with your normal compost in thin layers, it will lift the heat in the pile and give some nice compost in a few months time, then put it on the garden.
Do not recommend sucking it but you can tell by the feel and smell, makes your sandwiches taste better, well we could not wash our hands in the fields could we.


18/09/2012 at 18:16

LOL ! as it goes !  Thanks Frank !

26/04/2016 at 18:37

I have just taken on an allotment and am told to put horse manure on it by gardeners there but is there a heath risk like salmonella. Also I have scattered egg shells on a strawberry patch to ward off slugs could there be a heath risk with those also I'm worried to eat anything grown there now as I have taken their advice and used the horse manure.

26/04/2016 at 19:04
Josephine I wouldn't worry about horse or cow manure, or crushed egg shells. I and many others have used manures for years without any ill effects.
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