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Composting with Horse Manure Helps Gardeners Grow Bigger and Better

Composting Traditionally:

Composting can be done in the backyard and many gardeners work to enhance their personal batch of compost all year long.  The end product is a “free” soil supplement and fertilizer for the outdoor garden.  I have utilized compost in varied ways for years and find that it not only aids in the soil’s ability to retain and drain water, but it gives my plants an additional boost without the burn that some harsh chemical fertilizers will produce.  Key items that I throw into my compost area include coffee grounds, tea bags and leafs, grass clippings (I do not add chemical to my lawn), dried leaves, as well as scraps from fruits and vegetables.  Recently though, I have discovered another means of composting my outdoor garden, and my plants look better than ever.

Composting Horse Waste:

People are often surprised to find that some horses can produce up to 30 pounds of manure in just one day.  That is a lot of manure.  The good news here is that the manure can be a valuable resource for local gardeners.  I started using horse manure just a few years back and have integrated horse manure into my garden every year since.  If you visit your local farmer, you may be able to find a valuable resource.  Some farmers have an abundance of manure and are sometimes willing to let you have the “end product” for free.

Horse manure is useful as compost because it decomposes quickly and has the appropriate carbon to nitrogen ratio.  The horse manure contains nutrients that support the soil’s potential to feed plants what they need to develop and grow successfully.  Calcium, copper, zinc, potassium, and magnesium can be found in horse manure and there are other essential and beneficial elements within the manure as well.

Keep in mind that although composting with horse manure is different than composting with the traditional materials described above, horse manure still needs to 2 to 6 months to achieve the finished composting product.  The composting process is a biological one and time is needed for this process to take place thoroughly and effectively.

Horse Manure Composting Growing in Popularity:

Composting with horse manure is gaining “steam” and is becoming more mainstream.  A recent Chinese study revealed that crop yields were best when a mix of composted horse manure and fertilizers were utilized.  The researchers reported that the horse manure increased soil quality and ensured sustainability.  These findings were published in the open-access journal PloS ONE.






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