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Sheep manure crawling with weed seeds???

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Sheep manure crawling with weed seeds???

Post  jbh29 on 5/17/2011, 8:45 pm

I ran into some old aquaintances who own sheep and I asked them if I could come over for some manure. They said yes, but another friend put some on their garden and soon had a nice new patch of lawn. If I put this weedy manure into my compost bin (tumbler) will the weed seeds get killed?

The sheep farmers suggested composting the manure on it's own in a pile under a tarp.

What do you all think?

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Re: Sheep manure crawling with weed seeds???

Post  milaneyjane on 5/17/2011, 9:33 pm

It doesn't always get hot enough to kill off all the weed seeds......maybe others have better advice but I would rather go without than deal with potential weeds.

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Re: Sheep manure crawling with weed seeds???

Post  walshevak on 5/17/2011, 9:55 pm

From a post by Old Hippie

I compost a lot. I love composting. When I can get fresh manure, (we have special rules about that at my house) I like to add it to my compost in the fall so it has plenty of time to mix with the other stuff and age before I use it. Sometimes you can get weeds from it if the pile has not gotten hot enough to kill the weed seeds. Turning the pile often, daily or every other day, gets it heating up and if you can get it to over 60C for us Canadians or 140F for the US people it should kill most of the weed seeds. The problem with that is that it kills off most of the beneficial organisms in the compost as well so you need to let it cure for a couple of weeks during which time you can add a couple of handfuls of other compost to it to re-introduce those beneficials that you need to make your compost useful.

There is a slow method that works too and isn't such hard work. Fill a five gallon pail 3/4 full with moist compost. Take any worms out and return them to the main heap. Put the lid on tight and place in a sunny spot. It will heat up during the day, causing any seeds that require heat to sprout. Cooler temps at night will cause the ones that require cooler temperatures for germination to sprout. Roll the can around on the ground every day for a two to three weeks. Agitating it causes terminal damage to fragile sprouts. After about three weeks, you have compost that is mostly weed free.

I would think you can use a large black garbage can for bigger amounts. This might work better than the tarp. I'm planning to try this because my compost doesn't seem to be heating up properly.



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