Soil & Compost - Knowledgebase Question

San Antonio, TX
Question by skyhawk
February 21, 1998
I have been keeping a compost for a year or so, and have just moved its contents to the vegetable garden and tilled it in the sand to upgrade the soil. My husband thinks we should also use horse manure from the barn, even though the horses eat Coastal hay. I have used the manure to strenghthen the yard because it has so many hay seeds in it, and it makes a great, low maintenance lawn. But, I'm afraid if I put this in my garden the garden will be full of grass. Can I add it to the compost bin, a layerat a time, to get rid of the seeds?


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Answer from NGA
February 21, 1998

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If you have a good, hot compost pile, it should kill the seeds. You need a temperature of about 150F to kill weed seeds--I'd recommend you get a compost thermometer to be sure your pile is reaching that temperature. As long as you turn the pile frequently, so all the material reaches that temperature, you should be fine adding the finished compost to the garden.

(Maybe you should market those seeds as a low-maintenance lawn alternative! Hey, you could even sell the horse manure--and advertise"fertilizer included"!)

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