Posted: 13/09/2013 at 11:50
Hi ginagibbs, I set up my kitchen garden about 3 years ago and began, like you, with our old heap. Once used up I composted the manure in 4 bins which I rotate so the compost I use would be about 6 months old (or 9 months if it was Winter).
If you are not going to plant up your flower bed till next Spring however, I would use the manure straight from the field and let the worms take it down into your soil over winter.
My Wife handles the shrub borders and uses recent manure on shrubs, against my better judgement but always seems to succeed and prove me wrong.