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Gardener Gains: Benefits of using Manure in your Garden

By March 28, 2019August 22nd, 2019No Comments

A couple of years ago we were blessed to be able to move into our dream ranch.

Over these wonderful years our new little paradise on the hill has afforded us the opportunity to experiment with a lot of off the grid living and fun new hobbies.

Hobbies such as  the ability to own horses and horses produce a lot of… well, horse poop.

In our efforts to make use of all nature provides, we have turned this ever-available resource into an experiment.

So we collect it, pile it, dry it, “chip it” and turn it into a mixture that does much to improve our soil including:

  • Strengthens our soil’s structure
  • No synthetic chemicals
  • Holds more moisture
  • Better Aeration
  • Adds the nutrients including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium
  • Fertilizes the soil while keeping a low ph level

We needed amendments to give the soil structure. So my husband started experimenting with different ways of enhancing the sand so that we could use it for our gardens.

We found a place that is always in the sun and it became the manure station.  We collect the horse manure when mucking, and pile it over time in this sunny space.

Once dry, we run it through the chipper with other cuttings and leaves and create a fine pile of manure that continues to dry and compost in the sun (making sure we turn and properly compost to prevent combustion)

In addition to helping the soils quality, manure:

  • It is safer than chemical fertilizers
  • Adds more to the soil than cheaper fertilizers making it more cost effective in the long run
  • If you have 4 legged friends who “provide” it for you, it comes at no cost!

The new soil created has a wonderful structure, drains well but also holds the right amount moisture and so far, our garden seems to love it.

Please make note that we are not experts at this and this article is simply intended to share some of the experiments that have worked for us and that are still an ongoing journey.

Horse manure is considered one of the hottest manures and isn’t recommended for certain plantings so be sure to do your research.

I can say however, that so far this experimentation has been very successful and completely free! Plus, with 4 horses and 2 donkeys it allows us to recycle all their droppings which pile up fast (pardon the pun).

Interested in more ways of improving your garden? Check out my other article on easy and cost effective ways to improve your soil!

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