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Author Topic: Rotting down horse manure in sawdust  (Read 597 times)

Steel

  • Joined Aug 2017
Rotting down horse manure in sawdust
« on: February 12, 2019, 08:59:25 pm »
A neighbour has offered me as much manure from their stables as I like and they currently use biomass pellets as litter. Will this rot down properly in the same way it does for straw and does anyone on here use it for veg beds?

I'm sick of using bought compost and struggling with big lumps of plaster and lacklustre plant growth.

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Dan

  • The Accidental Smallholder
  • Administrator
  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Carnoustie, Angus
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Re: Rotting down horse manure in sawdust
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2019, 08:02:07 am »
It will rot down much more slowly than manue mixed with straw, assuming the same proportion of wood matter. If you can pile it up and cover it for a year it should be ideal for your veg garden next year.

Be wary of digging it in if the wood hasn't properly rotted down - it will rob the soil of nitrogen to some extent as it rots. It would be fine as a mulch though.

Steel

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Rotting down horse manure in sawdust
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2019, 08:44:24 am »
Hi Dan

Would it go faster if I layered it with green stuff and turned it regularly? Or will that make no difference do you think?

DavidandCollette

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Rotting down horse manure in sawdust
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2019, 09:53:44 am »
I have more than one muck heap going so the stuff I am using this year is 2-3 years old. It's well rotted by then

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Rotting down horse manure in sawdust
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2019, 11:00:54 am »

Yes, makes fantastic manure if given time to rot down. Regular turning and maybe adding some green stuff during summer will help. Beware of plastic covers sheets etc - badgers will just rip them to shreds, as they do love a good rummage in a compost heap….


Steel

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Rotting down horse manure in sawdust
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2019, 01:43:51 pm »
Great, thanks all. Will speak to the neighbour about transferring some big piles of the stuff over and storing in a corner of the paddock for a couple of years.

DavidandCollette

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Rotting down horse manure in sawdust
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2019, 06:21:58 pm »
Cover it as well if you can, it stops the rain deal ing the nutrients away. We were lucky enough to get a curtain side from an artic lorry and cut it up.

Maysie

  • Joined Jan 2018
  • Herefordshire/Shropshire Border
Re: Rotting down horse manure in sawdust
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2019, 04:36:13 pm »
My wife uses the pellet bedding for our horses too.  It definitely takes longer to rot down than straw bedding, but it will rot fully eventually.  It is what I am currently using as a mulch for our new 'no-dig' beds.  Our pile was left for about 10 months as a heap, then spread on the ground and left to rot for another 10 months. 

Steel

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Rotting down horse manure in sawdust
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2019, 08:10:22 am »
I have a very large thick tarpaulin in the barns that I was going to use to cover up the ground where the bigger veg beds will be in the paddock. Bit of a persistent nettle issue in that area that I've almost beaten..

Now I'm wondering whether there is merit in spreading the manure over the area where it will be eventually used, covering with the tarpaulin and leave it to rot down in place.

Has anyone done that?

GribinIsaf

  • Joined Aug 2015
  • Montgomeryshire
    • Gribin Isaf
Re: Rotting down horse manure in sawdust
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2019, 08:31:09 am »
Have a look at Charles Dowding no dig here:

https://www.charlesdowding.co.uk/start-here/

Steel

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Rotting down horse manure in sawdust
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2019, 03:40:04 pm »
Have a look at Charles Dowding no dig here:

https://www.charlesdowding.co.uk/start-here/

Thanks Grib. Does answer the question on there in a roundabout way. Has to be partially rotted. He uses manure and straw, which he stacks for six months before putting spreading. The sawdust will take longer to rot down in a heap than six months.

So, I'm not going to be planting in that area until March/April next year so I might use the time to investigate the hot composting technique to try and speed things up so I can use it in the 2020 growing season.

https://deepgreenpermaculture.com/diy-instructions/hot-compost-composting-in-18-days/

Plenty of green stuff about to go onto the compost heap over the next six weeks and I have a lot of leaves, cardboard and paper shreddings I need to use in a constructive way. If it doesn't work, then the worst that happens is I'll have to leave it for a bit longer and think of a Plan B.

In the meantime, I'll put down the tarpaulin to cut the light to the weeds.
 
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 03:46:05 pm by Steel »

Steel

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Rotting down horse manure in sawdust
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2019, 01:56:49 pm »
So, accumulation of compost stuffs underway.

Western Power cut our hedges and the neighbours recently, as they had reached the power lines, and I now have two complete tipper van loads of chippings (deciduous and conifer).

Also, dug out five large feed sacks of manure from my neighbour, only to discover they had directed me to the four year old well rotted good stuff that I can mix up with other compost and use straight away Result!  :excited:

Will be going back to get some of the fresh stuff to mix in with the chippings and some straw during the next two weeks. I also have my leaf vacuum at the ready for garden clean up so I can put chopped up leaves in there too.

Never have I been so excited about the prospect of tidying up the smallholding... ;D

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Rotting down horse manure in sawdust
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2019, 09:14:06 pm »
 Get hold of a decent length of rebar and poke holes in the heaps , if you're near enough to a hosepipe put a buckets worth of water down each hole every few weeks.#

 Build the heaps in cones if possible .
 I suggest you do cover the heaps , for being hot & wet they will sweat and the rotting down will be enhanced as well as the  moist nutrients  being soaked up by the rotting wood pellets.

 If you find badgers a problem perhaps put some pig or chicken wire round each heap
 If you are able to turn the heaps by hand of using a front loader etc  so much the better as it gives oxygen to beneficial bacteria & moulds .  Put the outsides of the heap to the inside of the new heap site , wetting it well  every three or four inch layer as you build the heap .  Again cover in a water proof sheet to help keep it sweating and retain some of the ammonia that also helps feeds bacteria that produces nitrogen .

 Once you have a built heap   do not add any new material to it or it will never be fully finished compost .
 Minimum size for a heap /pile is a cubic metre heaped up in a cone .

 Saw you mention shredded hedge chippings/ cuttings.. Fantastic stuff for when well rotted & mixed in with other materials as it's being composted when it is " Finished " it still has air & moisture retention properties & is also a brilliant soil improver  .

 Look up the " Berkley 18 day hot composting method at Cornell university USA " if you really want to find out how to get some fantastic compost .. I've been using that method for well over 15 years and as far as I can see noting beats it .

 Be aware.... if the horses have field grazed or been fed winter hay there is a great likelihood that there will be zillions of weed seeds in the compost as their digestive system does not kill many weeds seeds off unfortunately . 

 Composts made from ruminant dung & straw beddings tend to have hardly any weeds seeds as the animals stomachs & cud chewing actions destroy them .
 
 
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 09:26:04 pm by cloddopper »
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

 

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