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Author Topic: Rotting down horse manure in sawdust  (Read 485 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.

Voss Electric Fence

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

 

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