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Post  flower76 on 5/22/2013, 10:23 am

I have my compost pile in two 4x4 square foot garden frame stacked on top (about 2 feet tall) It is pretty much full of garden waste, grass , leaves, and kitchen scraps. I have a source for horse manure, how much should I get to put in this much compost?

I also have 2 airless compost - two trashcans. Should I put manure in those as well?
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Re: manure

Post  camprn on 5/22/2013, 11:05 am

Throw it all in... as much as you can get. If you need to make a welded wire hoop to hold more compost stuff, it's a good way to go. Remember, all that material you are composting will reduce about 2/3 to a final product.

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Re: manure

Post  Pepper on 5/22/2013, 2:44 pm

+1 for what Camprn said!
Here is a link to the "compost 101" thread in this forum.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1738-compost-101
It will get you started composting. A good short video is here( one of the teachers posted this). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAMy_ZJ0Xa8

Before you add the horse manure know that the horses gut does NOT kill the seeds it eats. So unless you HOT compost it you are inviting a BAD weed problem.
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Re: manure

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/22/2013, 2:56 pm

@Pepper wrote:
Before you add the horse manure know that the horses gut does NOT kill the seeds it eats. So unless you HOT compost it you are inviting a BAD weed problem.

In our area horse manure also has cutworm eggs in it. I've been told not to use it by a farmer, who also works a plot in the community garden. He says for the past 3 years he's been digging out cutworms due to the person before him putting horse manure into the plot.

Would hot composting take care of that?

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Re: manure

Post  flower76 on 5/22/2013, 3:09 pm

So glad I asked, I forgot about the seeds! I'm not sure if my pile is getting hot or not. Guess I will wait on the manure -- but what if the pile is old and I take from the middle? Wouldn't that have gotten hot?
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Re: manure

Post  camprn on 5/22/2013, 3:19 pm

CC, I am totally suspicious of what you wrote. Would you double check that cutworms actually live in manure.

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Re: manure

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/22/2013, 5:03 pm

It looks like they are only referring to green horse manure as being the problemo:

"While it is not advisable to place green or uncomposted manure onto your garden for many reasons, one reason is that the cutworm moths seem to prefer green manure for egg-laying. This attracts them to your garden, beginning a cutworm infestation. Horse manure that has been composted, however, is not as likely to attract the moths, though moths may still deposit eggs in it. Your cutworm problem likely would have happened whether or not you used composted manure on your garden."

Read more: Does Horse Manure Compost Cause Cutworms in a Garden? | eHow http://www.ehow.com/info_8480647_horse-compost-cause-cutworms-garden.html#ixzz2U3d2YVXh

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Re: manure

Post  camprn on 5/22/2013, 5:57 pm

Thanks for that. okay

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Re: manure

Post  camprn on 5/22/2013, 6:01 pm

@flower76 wrote:So glad I asked, I forgot about the seeds! I'm not sure if my pile is getting hot or not. Guess I will wait on the manure -- but what if the pile is old and I take from the middle? Wouldn't that have gotten hot?
I would take it anyway. As much as I could get. It won't matter if it's from the middle of the pile.

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Re: manure

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/22/2013, 6:13 pm

My mother told me that decades ago she had a load of horse manure delivered. It was supposed to have been aged 6 mths. She spread it all over her gardens and then she battled cutworms for 3 yrs afterward. She hasn't had them since. I'm guessing it wasn't as aged as advertised.

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Re: manure

Post  camprn on 5/22/2013, 6:28 pm

The point I would like to make here is that if you have a free or cheap source of manure that you can use in your compost pile, not directly into the garden, is totally awesome!!! Take it all. Leave it in it's own pile if you must, but it has tremendous value to the gardener.

Oh yeah, there's bugs everywhere, so this info about the cut worms is valuable, but the manure is of more value. Once composted, especially if you get the pile hot, the risk of pests is reduced.

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Re: manure

Post  jimmy cee on 5/22/2013, 10:11 pm

I layered twelve 5 gallon buckets of fresh cow manure in my 4x4 compost pile.
Did it ever do the trick, worms galore, heated up, not to 160, however it did get warm
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