The Q&A Archives: Using Horse Manure

Question: This is my first year for using horse manure as fertilizer in my vegetable garden. I was directed by another to use lime after the manure is spread. Is this good advice? What else do I need to know about horse manure as fertilizer? John

Answer: I'm not sure where you're located, but if you are in the Eastern U.S., your soil will tend to be acidic, so adding lime is fine. Of course, the best thing to do is a soil test to determine the pH. For vegetables the range is 6.0-7.0. If you are on the low side, add 40 pounds of lime per 1000 square foot of garden. Horse manure is great as a soil conditioner. Be sure to get old, composted horse manure because the fresh stuff has lots of bedding materials (sawdust, hay), which can tie up nitrogen int he soil and casue a deficiency. Anything older than one year is fine. Also, horse manure tends to have lots of weed seeds, so be diligent about weeding.

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