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Is Horse Manure Good For The Garden? [Is It Right For Yours?]
Home gardens are places for nature experiences that are known to be good for mental health, cognitive performance, and emotional well-being. If you want to use an all-natural way to keep your garden healthy, then you need to use animal manures. But can you use horse manure for your garden? We have researched this question, and here's what we've found out.
Horse dung is a well-known fertilizer for many backyard plants and an excellent source of nutrients. However, not all types of gardens are horse manure-friendly. Only plants that need nitrogen, like corn and potatoes, can receive them. This type of manure shouldn't be used for fruiting or flowering plants.
In this post, we will examine how and when to use horse manure for your garden. We will also tackle the types of gardens in which you can use horse dung as fertilizer. Let's get into it!
Types Of Home Gardens
Home gardening means growing and taking care of plants in your own home. Gardening can be time-consuming but are therapeutic to most people. If you're planning to put up a garden in your backyard, make sure to know the different types of gardens that will be appropriate to your liking.
A vegetable garden is one of the most popular types of a home garden. This garden has different types of growing vegetables and herbs that are edible.
Maintaining this type of garden is a lot of fun, and you can reap the rewards of your labor because you can cook or eat them after some time. This is also a cost-effective way to lower your monthly expenses amid the rising prices of vegetables and commodities.
Like vegetable gardens, fruit gardens can also help you plan for your budget. In this type of garden, you will enjoy the fruits of your labor while enjoying the decorative appeal of the colorful fruits in your garden.
Another popular type of garden is a flower garden. Most homeowners prefer having them because of their aesthetic appeal. A flower garden is a variety of plants that appeal to the senses with varying heights, colors, textures, and aromas.
Garden Types That Are Good With Horse Manure
Natural and organic fertilizers are best for maintaining healthy garden soil. Horse manure is well-known for the richness of the nutrients it gives off. Horse dung can be most effective on non-flowering plants because it is rich in nitrogen but lacks significant amounts of phosphorus and potassium.
Moreover, they are helpful to plants that need nitrogen, including lettuce, corn, potatoes, and garlic. Horse dung manure is also great for homeowners starting to have a grass lawn since it is good for enhancing the grass.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Horse Manure
Horse manure is one good option if you don't prefer using chemically produced fertilizer in your garden. However, you still need to consider this manure's pros and cons to decide if this is right for your garden.
Horse dung manure is a good option if you want healthy soil for your home garden. We all know that horses feed on natural grass, grains, and haystack. Therefore, making their dung a better choice than chicken, cow, and sheep manure.
This kind of manure increases soil fertility, which is an excellent start for plants to grow. It also increases the regeneration of plants and high-quality seeds. Moreover, horse manure is a natural way of fertilizing the soil, which means the soil will not absorb any artificial and chemical fertilizers that can harm the soil and plants.
Horse dung has a few advantages, but it also has some disadvantages. Since horse dung manure is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon, it can harm the environment if not properly maintained. The dung pit can have a leakage that can go to rivers and lead to water contamination.
Although horse manure can be beneficial to some plants, it can also be harmful to others. They are not recommended for use for flowering and fruiting plants and trees because of their nitrogen content.
How To Use Horse Dung Manure?
Knowing the proper way of using horse manure in your garden can lessen the possibility of having a dull plantation.
Do Not Use Fresh Manure
Horse manure offers many nutritional benefits, but you should not use fresh manure directly in your garden since it can burn your plant roots. Adding fresh horse dung can also spread bacteria and weed seeds, which could eventually harm your crop. Instead of using fresh manure, use well-aged manure because they are not hot enough to burn your plants.
Compost The Manure First
Horses eat grass, haystack, and other herbs. Their dung usually has undigested particles and weed seeds that harm other plants. The best way to solve this issue is to compost horse manure before putting some in your garden. This way, the organic materials will break down into rich humus that can be used as fertilizer to enhance your garden.
How To Compost Horse Manure?
If you use horse manure in your garden, composting it is the best and safest way to enhance your garden without posing harmful effects to you, your plant, and your yard. Here are some steps that you can follow in composting horse manure before using it in your garden:
Choose The Location
Location is very important in making a compost pit for manure. Since horse dung is a bit smelly, you must put them in places far from the neighborhood. Also, pick a place far from the waterways because little leakage on the dung pit can still cause water contamination. If you have horses, make sure that the location of your pit is near the horses' stalls so you will have quick access to them.
Compost Pit Size And Cover
Your compost pile must be specific to receive the proper amount of air. Additionally, covering the pit can prevent the compost from drying up in the summer and becoming a soggy mess in the winter. You can also use a tarp, a plastic sheet, or a roof to cover it.
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Air Your Pile
Composting will take a very long time if your pile's center does not get enough air. There are different methods to do this, but the easiest way is to use a tractor to turn the pile repeatedly. Long pipes can also be inserted into the compost with the ends protruding like chimneys.
Cure The Compost
The process of composting takes a very long time. Leave the pile to sit and decompose. The entire process can take at least three months. Worms and other small insects move in during this time and continue to decompose the final compost.
How Much Horse Manure Do You Put On A Garden?
If the horse manure is ready to use, you might be concerned about how much you should use in your garden. The amount of horse manure required will depend on how much compost you want to generate and the size of the area you plan to fertilize.
According to the general guideline, you need roughly 20 lbs of horse dung per cubic yard. Moreover, if you will use horse dung as mulch around the flowers, you can apply it between 1-3 inches thick.
Does Composted Horse Manure Smell?
One of the concerns of many homeowners in using natural fertilizers such as horse manure is the smell. Fresh manure gives off a bad odor. However, composted manure will smell earthy.
Does Horse Manure Attract Rats?
Having horses typically means having rodents. Whether or not you can see them. Given that rodents like to eat grains and seeds, they can be found on horse manures.
Stable flies, face flies, house flies, and various other species thrive in manure piles. One way to keep them away is to keep your manure pit not too wet.
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Is Horse Manure Better Than Cow Manure?
Typically, cow dung manure is moister than horse manure. But both manures are great for your plants. Horse dung is widely accessible and healthy. Horses do not fully digest their meal as cows, so their dung contains more organic content. However, it is more likely to include weed seeds that will germinate. That is why composting it first is recommended.
Horse feces are a great source of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and calcium for crops than many other animal wastes, including cow manure, making it an excellent fertilizer for plants.
A healthy garden makes gardening at home even more therapeutic and satisfying. One way to achieve a flourishing green garden is by fertilizing it with all-natural fertilizers. Horse dung manure is an excellent option for gardening. Make sure to know the proper way of using the horse manure and compost it first so it will not harm you, your garden, and other people.
Before you go, be sure to check out these other posts that may interest you:
How To Use A Ratchet Garden Cultivator
How To Compost Garden Waste At Home [3 Foolproof Techniques]