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Age of manure in compost?

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Age of manure in compost?

Post  outdoor_mom on 4/4/2011, 10:44 am

I'm having a hard time finding compost other than mushroom-- and it's expensive! However, I have access to almost unlimited supplies of chicken, cow and horse manure. My question is, how well aged to these need to be? I seem to remember my dad, when I was a kid, putting pickup-truck-fulls of horse manure directly on his garden, but I can't be sure about this.
Anyway, the chicken manure I got was very well composted, probably a year or two old. The cow manure was dried "cow pies" I picked up right out of the field (lol, I can't believe I just typed that Wink ) and they have VERY little smell left and broke down nicely. Not sure what the stuff from my friend with the horses will be like... any advice appreciated!

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Re: Age of manure in compost?

Post  camprn on 4/4/2011, 11:29 am

@outdoor_mom wrote:I'm having a hard time finding compost other than mushroom-- and it's expensive! However, I have access to almost unlimited supplies of chicken, cow and horse manure. My question is, how well aged to these need to be? I seem to remember my dad, when I was a kid, putting pickup-truck-fulls of horse manure directly on his garden, but I can't be sure about this.
Anyway, the chicken manure I got was very well composted, probably a year or two old. The cow manure was dried "cow pies" I picked up right out of the field (lol, I can't believe I just typed that Wink ) and they have VERY little smell left and broke down nicely. Not sure what the stuff from my friend with the horses will be like... any advice appreciated!
I would say you found two other sources with the dehydrated cow pies and the aged poultry litter!!! Hooray
Good luck with your friends manure. Also, keep on the look out for goat, rabbit, llama poo. You may be able to find some small farmers that will sell you a few grain sacks of aged manure. Hit up your local Farmer's Market!!
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Re: Age of manure in compost?

Post  WardinWake on 4/4/2011, 5:11 pm

@outdoor_mom wrote:I'm having a hard time finding compost other than mushroom-- and it's expensive! However, I have access to almost unlimited supplies of chicken, cow and horse manure. My question is, how well aged to these need to be? I seem to remember my dad, when I was a kid, putting pickup-truck-fulls of horse manure directly on his garden, but I can't be sure about this.
Anyway, the chicken manure I got was very well composted, probably a year or two old. The cow manure was dried "cow pies" I picked up right out of the field (lol, I can't believe I just typed that Wink ) and they have VERY little smell left and broke down nicely. Not sure what the stuff from my friend with the horses will be like... any advice appreciated!

Howdy O'Mom"

If you can I would go ahead and mix all of your sources into your compost pile. Stir it every day and make sure it is moist. When you stir you will be putting oxygen into the pile and it should heat up nicely. Keep turning the pile every day and you should have usable compost in under three weeks. For more details on getting compost ready fast see the "ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING" book starting on page 92.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.
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