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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been quite a while since I've added any large amount of organic matter or nitrogen to my raised beds, and they're due for it.
I'm aware of the large amount of undigested, verile weed seeds that generally come with horse manure, but I've got access just up the road to as much as I care to haul away, and short of paying for something else (which I ain't gonna' do), I'm fresh out of other options.
It's been piled up for a long time, was mixed with hay from the stalls, and is composted to the point of being more or less unrecognizable.....boilin' over with earthworms, too.
My question is, would the majority of the weed seeds be cooked out by now, or would I be dropping a weed bomb on my garden by adding and tilling in a bunch of this stuff?...there's room in the beds to add quite a bit to top them off.
I know it leans to alkiline, but how alkiline is it? It's been a long time since I've tested the soil ph, but it's pretty acidic, just right for blueberries.
Any pitfalls I oughta' be aware of?
 

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unless it cooked hot, i bet it still has viable seed. also, i think martin said it may be up around an 8 on the ph scale, but i really shouldn't speak for him. i think he also cautioned against using too much annually as it does have a fair amount of salt. i think he recommended no more than about 2 inches and to till it in. again, i shouldn't speak for him, but i am bored.

i topdress with it...about 2 inches annually and till it in in the spring. i do this to control a constant supply. if i had my tiller running on a regular basis, i would till it in when i add it. i tried composting it in piles over the winter, but it didn't do much in my cold weather. i figure i may as well put it where i need soil conditioning and be done with it. i can fertilize later if i need to. i use manure tea every other week in the growing season...or as i feel it is needed.
 

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You can put the manure on your garden early and then cover it with clear plastic. The sun will heat up the soil throgh the plastic and any seeds will germinate. You can till them under when that happens or let the sun burn them.

I really wouldn't worry about it too much. I use manure all the time and though some weeds do germinate, I use enough mulch on top that they are easily removed.
 

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Whatever seeds manage to survive are usually annuals which can be easily controlled. In fact, any perennial seedling is equally as vulnerable to a sharp hoe.

If your soil is as acidic as you claim, you should not have to worry about soil pH. The high pH of farm manures is due to the salt content. That does take awhile to leach deep into the soil but also doesn't take forever. Therefore your soil will eventually return to whatever you started with. Since your source has apparently been piled in the open for some time, and worms are able to survive in it, assume that it's sufficiently aged to allow about 2" to be tilled in. That should be sufficient nutrients to last for several years.

Martin
 

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I've used manure for over 40 years and have never saw a week problem caused by using it. The tumble weeds that blow through here is what spreads the weed seeds. I also mulch heavily so don't have any weed problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Do you have chickens? We have acccess to a lot of horse manure - we temporary fence a pile, then put the chickens in there to eat up all the seeds. They also scratch thru the manure and do a great job of fluffing it up...

Annie
Great idea, but no, I don't have chickens, nor do I have horses. The horses belong to a friend up the road.

Thanks for the responses, y'all...Two inches and the tiller it is.
 
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