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Horse manure as mulch?  RSS feed

 
Hans Harker
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Location: Chcago IL
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i'm making a hugel and first i thought i was going to mulch it with wood chips because i have a lot of branches i can run through a wood chipper but chipping it turned out to be a lot of work that is hard to do with the kids running around. There's a stable nearby though and and i could get as much of their horse manure as i can take and it is mostly straw after all.
Do you guys think it'll work?
 
Jim Gagnepain
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Not as mulch. Mulch is meant to prevent weeds and other growth from growing and infesting bushes and other desirable growth. The horse manure, even with straw, will not retard this growth, but will instead, promote it. It's great for adding to a compost pile. You can push other mulching aside, and cut the compost or horse manure in, then recover it with the mulch. This will make your plants very happy.

Careful that the horse manure is not too hot and fresh. If it's mixed with a lot of straw, chances are, this won't be a problem.
 
Juan Sebastian Estrada
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Location: Medellin, Colombia
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bike forest garden trees
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If you have a lot of branches then put them inside the hugel! They will add more texture/air/edge to the hugel and you save the work of chipping them, plus the hugel will end up being bigger which means more growing area, more wood to retain moisture. If it is fresh, you could incorporate some of the horse manure also inside the hugel to provide some quick fertility and maybe help quickstart the wood decomposition process. Something really important to consider is to make sure that the horse feed does not contain any persistent herbicides; these could pass unchanged through the horses' digestive system and remain in the manure creating a big problem for your growies.
 
Hans Harker
Posts: 115
Location: Chcago IL
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Juan Sebastian Estrada wrote: Something really important to consider is to make sure that the horse feed does not contain any persistent herbicides; these could pass unchanged through the horses' digestive system and remain in the manure creating a big problem for your growies.


That's a scary thought. I always thought of horses as very sensitive to poisons so whatever would pass through them would be safe. I guess it's more complicated tan that these days. What do people feed to hoses these days that could be contaminated with herbicides? GMO corn?

That bring another question that's been lingering in my head. Most straw available in US seems to be GMO wheat. Is it safe to use as mulch?
 
Li Lee
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I used horse manure mulch 1 time.

It took several month for everything to turn bright yellow and look real sick.
No amount of bonemeal, fish emulsion or epson salts helped.

It took years for the yellow plants to turn green.
 
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