Is manure alone ok to plant in?

Community Community No dig gardening Preparing the ground Is manure alone ok to plant in?

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  charles 4 years, 10 months ago.

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    Hi folks,

    This is not only my first post on here but my first ever attempt at gardening of any kind! I will shortly be moving into a new house with a giant garden and plan to make the top half of it into a mini allotment.

    I have done all the reading and watching of YouTube videos that I possibly can and I think I have grasped most of the no dig do’s and don’ts.

    However, I am confused about the compost side of it. I have access to an unlimited supply of well rotted horse manure (defo of the good kind, none of the stuff with the poison in it) and I wondered if I were to lay this on top of the cardboard whether this would be enough or if I need to add other stuff? I have a very limited budget but could maybe stretch to a few bags of calcifies seaweed that I have read others use. Of course I will also be home composting but I’m only on my own and would take about 10 years to eat enough food to have useable compost I think! Will ask all my neighbours for their grass clippings etc but still don’t imagine it will amount to very much.

    Sorry if this is a totally dumb question it’s just that every thing I read and watch, a lot of people use so many layers of varied composts and it’s just confusing me!

    Thanks in advance



    Congrads on the new garden.
    Well rotted horse manure is perfect to get you started.
    Compost can be made from nearly any living material, coming into the autumn watch out for sources of fallen leaves, hedge trimmings (not woody stuff) these can be mixed with horse manure and composted over winter.



    Lucky you Rainbowwand, having lots of well rotted manure! I have used it (but had to buy it from a local farmer) to build beds on my new allotment. It’s been very successful for growing thus far (first proper growing year). It’s definitely holding moisture in better than my chalk based soil and with the wetted cardboard that I put down first, has stopped all the perennial weeds barring bind weed. You do get weed seeds from the manure and i have used brought compost as a top layer to suppress them in some areas – particularly those that are harder to get to weed under netting or for things like new asparagus that I dont want weeds in at all if I can help it.

    Enjoy your new home and garden !



    Its not an ‘either or’kind of thing. Use what you can get/have got. If the supply of manure is ‘plenty’ then use it each way. Some initially, use some to balance the other compostables you can garner to produce a correctly heated heap, that will hopefully kill some weed seeds, to have a supply for next season, and the season after that. You may incorporate a dressing of seasoned compost within the heaps, to ‘innoculate’ with soil bacteria. You may make foliar feeds and compost teas with some to boost plantings. A (FREE!) orange onion sack from your local takeaway shop will enable you to steep a bag of manure in a spare waterbutt to produce a rich liquor, resembling the leading tomato fertilser in a red bottle….T*-rite.
    These are the sorts of thing that you can do with the (spare?)time you dont spend weeding.



    Thank you everyone for the responses, these have helped a lot already. Slightly nervous but ultimately looking forward to getting started!



    Good answers here and the question should read:
    Is compost made from horse manure alone ok to plant in?
    The manure word is highly confusing as people use it for both fresh and decomposed.
    It’s absolutely fine to sow and plant into the latter and as you suspect, there is no need for complicated layers and mixes of different composts/soil/vermiculite/peat etc which one sees recommended, often in bizarrely precise amounts!
    Sometimes with old but rather lumpy manure, a sack of potting compost on top gives a smoother layer for planting, and it’s easier to look after small seedlings.

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