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Old September 21, 2019   #16
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Laurinburg, North Carolina, zone 7
Posts: 3,207

Here’s how I consider manures. I have three main manures available to me. Horse,goat and chicken.
Horse manure= I do make sure it’s composted pretty well. Here’s my current method- I clean the stalls, pile it into large piles in unused rows of the garden,in the compost pile or in my new worm trough that I set just outside the stalls which gets fed only horse manure. When I am ready to plant I add a large amount of the composted manure ( up to 4”) onto the planting area, depending on the soil and how much organic matter it already has. I will mix this right in the hole of transplants such as tomatoes and peppers, several handfuls at a time. I always make sure horse manure has gone through a few cycles of getting wet,heating up,cooling down,turning,rinse and repeat because it can get pretty hot (temperature I mean) if it hasn’t had any water added to it and hasn’t had a chance to go through some composting. The more it’s been pulverized by horse hooves the quicker this gets done. My manure doesn’t have much bedding added so it can get pretty hot the first time it gets wet.
My new worm trough is 100% made from my horse stall cleanings and the worms are multiplying like I’ve never seen before. I have them in a leaky,125 gallon water trough and I just keep adding more manure as one layer gets finished. I don’t know why I didn’t put some of my worms out by the barn years ago, it’s right next to my garden and makes so much sense, I have it right outside the two horse stalls. With two horses and up to 5 in the past I’ve used a lot of manure on the garden. My other worm bins are still near the house for food and paper scraps and I use those bins for making potting soil for transplants.
The goat stalls, I do a sort of “deep litter” method, cleaning them out when when I need it or when it’s disgusting. I use wood shavings or old grass hay as bedding in their stalls. Despite some fresh manure and urine in their stalls I’ve not had a bit of trouble using their stall cleanings as a thick mulch layer or even worked into the soil when I’m prepping a bed.
Chicken manure,I consider my actual “fertilizer” that I use as my best compost to sidedress and save it for when plants need a good boost or for nitrogen hungry plants. I never mix it into the soil, I always side-dress with it and I always use it well composted. ( usually deep litter for 6 months mixed with leaves and pine straw, then another few months to compost that top layer since the deep litter doesn’t really compost the top inch or two. Even when I put some in the worm bins I use it sparingly, just in handfuls.
I use the chicken manure in quantities like you would an organic,granular fertilizer like garden-tone and especially like it for nitrogen hungry crops or after a heavy pruning of my tomatoes.

Last edited by Tracydr; September 21, 2019 at 02:38 AM.
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