Well rotted manure... Weeds started to grow on it... Should I use it?

Discussion in 'Gardening Discussions' started by Engelbert, Jun 24, 2020.

  1. Engelbert

    Engelbert Gardener

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    Hi again

    I have a local supply of well rotted manure. It's from a horse sanctuary and there's an absolute mountain of the stuff! The fresher stuff gets put into bays, and from the bays it eventually goes and joins the mountain.

    The mountain is completely covered in grass, nettles and thistles. The first time I went, I chose a section, removed the grass, nettles and thistles, and have since been digging down in the same spot when I visit. Some of the stuff from the last visit I made is still in the sacks I brought it home in, and today I noticed lots of weeds starting to grow in situ.

    Could I potentially be introducing a nightmare situation to my garden? If the weeds will go after a couple of good weeding sessions, then I'm fine with that. But if it is going to cause an ongoing weed crisis for eternity, perhaps I should reconsider!

    Any been in a similar situation or have any advice on what I should do?

    Many thanks in advance, and hope everyone has been enjoying the sun :)

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  2. CarolineL

    CarolineL Total Gardener

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    Hi @Engelbert yes, horse manure is normally full of weed seeds - they pass through the gut. One option is to pile up the manure and leave it for a while. As it heats up, the seeds inside will probably be killed. If not, they will die off as you disturb them. If you dig it into the soil, then the seedlings will not get much of a chance. Even with the seeds, it's definitely worth having the manure in your garden!
     
  3. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    Its basically a good sign, it means the manure is free of that nasty weedkiller that some manures are contaminated with.
     
  4. Steve Elliott

    Steve Elliott Gardener

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    We keep cows and have plenty of manure. We find it never gets hot enough to kill all the weed seeds even if we keep turning it. If we leave it then weeds grow - mostly grass and nettles and often wheat and barley as well from the straw. We use it anyway because that's what we've got and our soil needs it. We find if we use it as a mulch then grass grows on the top. Then when you pull it up it lifts all the manure with it so we don't often do that. The only place we mulch like that now is the soft fruit. Each year we mulch on top of the old mulch.

    We use it mainly in the vegetable plot where we bury it by trenching. We do this especially with things like beans, peas, courgettes and squashes. Each year we move those beds to different places so it slowly gets distributed around the plot. It's not ideal but we'd rather have it than not.

    We also do that when we make a new strawberry bed. Dig a trench, fill it with muck, cover over with soil and plant the runners in that.

    Cheers
    Steve
     
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