• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Is fresh horse manure good for building hugelkultur?  RSS feed

 
Tim Kivi
Posts: 19
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Lots of fresh horse manure's arriving at my place next week.

Conventional gardeners say you must rot horse manure for a year before using it. Is hugelkultur more relaxed about this by letting me build my mound with fresh manure right away? I don't have room to let it sit around doing nothing. My plan is to lay layers of twigs, leaves, logs, hay and finally with manure then plant seedlings on it.

Also, what should I do with my old clay soil? There's mountains of it because I've dug it out of the ground to make the bed deeper. Is it best to throw it out, or should I mix it in with the mound? I don't think it's good soil because it hardly has any worms in it and even weeds barely grow in it. I moved into my place just a few months ago so I don't know the history of the soil.
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 1268
138
books cat chicken duck rabbit transportation trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My understanding of Hugels is that they are entirely made up of rotted wood decomposing in the soil, but the hugels I have made have always included 50% sheep manure because I had plenty of it. Even seven years later they are thriving so I can't be making that much of a mistake. I have always planted right on top of fresh manure, but mine was sheep and I know sheep manure does not need to be aged; it does after all come in convenient pellet form!

My experience lines up with what you propose to do.
 
stephen lowe
Posts: 45
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just recently (May) built some hugels that included a good amount of freshish horse manure. I would recommend layering it into the mound and then mixing some as best you can with your clay soil to put on top. If you're just building it now I'm assuming you are just going to cover crop it for the winter? In that case I think it would be better than great, if you are planting food crops immediately into it I might worry a bit about contamination and nitrogen burn. Incorporated into the wood in the mound though I think is probably superior than a straight wooden mound.
 
James Whitelaw
Posts: 16
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One aspect of horse manure these days is the possibility of herbicide carryover, usually picloram, clopyralid, or aminopyralid, so research into what you are getting and testing the manure on sensitive plants before integrating it into the environment is called for.supposedly it can take years before the herbicides degrade.

 
chip sanft
pollinator
Posts: 425
Location: 18 acres & heart in zone 4 (central MN). Current abode: Knoxville (zone 6 /7)
32
bike books dog urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think you're fine adding it in there, though it may accelerate the breakdown of the wood.

When I get a new pile of horse doo, I let it sit for a few months then plant seeds in it. The persistent herbicides on hay are supposed to target broadleaf plants, so I plant various broadleaf plants to make sure they sprout and leaf out normally. So far this seems to have prevented any contamination.
 
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. Steve flies like a tiny ad:
Composting Chickens Comic (e)Book - The Ulitmate Guide to Compsting with Chickens - Digital Download
https://permies.com/t/66064/digital-market/digital-market/Composting-Chickens-Comic-Book-Ulitmate
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!