Saturday, 24 March 2007


Hi Ian
I’ve been told horse manure is too strong for growing vegetables, if this is true what is it good for growing apart from mushrooms. Thanks Charlie by e-mail

Raw horse muck has a reputation for being thrown under rose bushes without rotting down. Adding any type of manure to the soil in its raw state might be a bit too strong for plant roots. It all depends what the muck is mixed with as well. Wood shavings, hay and straw would be present in muck that has been picked up from the stables. Both of these ingredients will rob the soil of nitrogen as they rot down. If the horse muck was well rotted before you added it to the soil, I cannot see any problem with it being too strong, as long as it is mixed in well and not touching the roots. There could be a problem with weed seeds in muck taken from the fields though. Horses don’t seem to process their food very thoroughly and the seeds survive the stomach. I put in well rotted muck into my raised beds last year. I don’t know if I put it too deep, but the vegetable growth was quite poor - horse muck isn’t really that strong when it is rotted down, so maybe I didn’t use enough!


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