Too Much Composted Horse Manure?

Marshalltown, IA(Zone 5a)

I live on an acreage with 5 quarter horses....
In the winter time, they are stalled quite a bit with pine sawdust. Their stalls are picked 2 x a day.

Out back, we pile the manure-mixed sawdust. Some times there is fresher manure (maybe 6 months old).

This spring (and also last fall), we took out what we thought was good composted was pretty black with a few small manure "balls". Hubby took the tractor and scooped up a loader full and dumped it on our new lily garden. And then, tilled it in with so-so already existing soil.

Can this be too much manure? It was probably 1' deep, and then tilled....

I hope to plant daylilies this spring in the garden.....will it burn the daylilies?


Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

sm4657 - if it was well incorporated with your native soil, and you didn't add any nitrogen fertilizer, then I think it will be fine.

When we lived in South Florida, we had a dump truck load of aged horse manure delivered each August and I tilled it into the existing sand they laughingly called "soil". It was allowed to "mellow" until planting time in early October after the hurricanes had done their "thing".

We always had a wonderful vegetable garden. Wish I had access to horse manure here (sigh)

Marshalltown, IA(Zone 5a)


I hope the little garden turns out well. I have never fertillized in this is virgin soil, so, I thought that this manure with sawdust compost mix would make the soil better, and then I probably wouldn't have to ferilize.

This is my first year flower gardening, so here we go!

I have a huge area of horse manure, piled up. I have told all my neighbors around that don't have animals, they are welcome to it, buy no one seems to take advantage of it.....and they all have gardens....doesn't make sense to me, as it a shame to just let it sit.....

Wish I could ship it to you! LOL!

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

sm4657 - Modern Companies have so convinced the current generation that their way is good, that they don't know the "old ways" are better!

I was watching a program on TV yesterday where a farmer had been experimenting with letting his cows eat grass and fertilize that grass with their manure. He said he was having a hard time convincing his adult children that this "new idea" would work!

Gosh, did I have a good laugh at that one! I grew up where ALL the cows were raised this way! I'm 66 and was born and raised in England.

Wish I was closer so I could pick-up some of that good manure of yours.

Marshalltown, IA(Zone 5a)

I sure know where you are coming from!

We have 21 acres here and all pasture. I can rotate my horses around from pasture to pasture, and the pastures that sit to regrow is full of big green spots where the horses pooed....better than bought fertilizer!

My grandparents were immigrants here from England and Scotland in 1910. My grandmother from Sandwich, England and my grandfather from Edinburough. Scotland. Maybe someday I will get a chance to visit there....

I used to laugh when my grandma used to call my rear end a "bum". Great old english traditions!

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> big green spots where the horses pooed...

I just read, 20 minutes ago, about something called a "pasture drag" ... like multiple old tires dragged on their sides behind a tractor. The idea was to break up big clods of poop to spread the wealth around.


Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

When my daughter took riding lessons, the barn was nicely planted along one side with impatiens etc--the HUgest impatiens etc one can imagine.

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7a)

In the Fall I usually make a few new beds. I use the lasagna gardening technique but instead of compost I use FRESH horse manure right from the barn.....if I'm really lazy I just use manure and forget about the rest of the browns. I have never had a problem and have the nicest beds around.

West Palm Beach, FL(Zone 10b)

I have a question - I have a friend in Wellington (5 miles due south of me, big equestrian community). She said I cold come by and get as much stuff as the trailer would hold.

never worked with manure, and really haven't done much with mulch, so my question is - what do i do with it after I get it from my friend? Do I just put it in a pile and put up with the flies?

Do I put some green manure in with my compost and mix well?

Can I put fresh manure on my currently growing veggie garden?


Marshalltown, IA(Zone 5a)

I would be careful about using fresh manure on your don't want it to burn you plants.

I take my fresh manure, and compost it....I dump it on top of my compost pile, and work it in. I also have fresh manure mixed with pine sawdust that is in the stall when I clean them is mixed with a little of the sawdust when I add it to the compost pile. My compost pile has some paper, leaves, grass, and a little bit of coffee grounds. So far it has set since last November, and that is what I use.....but up here in Iowa, the winters are cold, so not much composting gets done.....It does take off in the summer though.

I would sure take the opportunity to get the fresh manure and compost it for a few months before you add it to your garden.....great fertilizer.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I'm not highly experienced--but the number of times I have collected from horse farms, I can't remember being bothered by flies at all. They go after the horses themselves for sure. The piles of used bedding are very pleasant--compared to cow barns and pigpens I've seen.

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7a)

We don't have a problem with flies either and if we do we put a thin layer of straw on the manure pile.

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