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Free Manure!

Posted by MelanieV LongIsland/z6b (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 23, 04 at 23:24

In April we had a plant sale here and people asked me what I used to get my plants to grow so well. I told them that my big secret was lots and lots of horse manure. Not that there's any problem with cow manure but there's no cattle farms near me and tons of horse barns.

During the sale a man stopped by to buy plants and overheard the conversation. He offered to deliver a truck load of horse manure for free! I couldn't believe it, I pay about $150 for a 6 yard truck full of old manure. In the past I've found plenty of sticks, stones, horseshoes, old tools and such in that expensive manure.

Surely free manure delivered to my driveway was too good to be true but who could pass up an offer like that! I called the number and asked when he could come. When he said he'd be here in half an hour I started to wonder what was up.

1/2 hour later there was a 10 yard dump truck backing down my driveway. The driver was very nice and manuvered it exactly where I wanted it. Then he opened the back gate of the truck and my eyes started to water. Uh Oh! Down came the most stinky pile you could imagine. I almost immediately got a sunburn from the heat radiating off this pile.

We were walking around the garden when I finally had the nerve to say "that manure smells pretty ripe, how fresh is it?"

The answer? "Ma'am, it was IN the horse yesterday".

The happy ending? My neighbors didn't put up for sale signs and less than one month later I'm using it to top dress most of my beds. It also has filled two bins of my compost heap and makes a lovely barrel full of manure tea once a week.

Anybody in the Huntington area of Long Island, this stable needs places to drop manure. They are on State Park lands and the state has rules against them keeping the manure there on the grounds.

Melanie


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Free Manure!

Are you using this on perennials ? How long do you let it age, and do you compost it with anything else?Susan


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RE: Free Manure!

Susan,

Yes, lots of perennials just love being "manured". Daylilies, Hosta, hardy Geraniums, Japanese Iris, Thalictrum, Liatris, Heucheras, Alchemilla's, Coreopsis, Digitalis, Nepetas and so much more.

The biggest danger in using the manure when it's fresh is the heat it causes as it's decomposing. That's why you'll hear the word "burned" when using fresh manure.

When the manure was delivered I cleared out my compost heap and used as much as was usable, then put the rest to the side. Laid layers, two wheel barrow loads of manure, two bags of saved leaves (I save all my leaves from the fall and spring clean-up) several pitchforks full of not finished compost and then back to the manure again.

I also laid a large pile out in the sun to really "cook". Finally, there was a remainder pile in my driveway that lost it's smell in about 10 days. I use that pile to make manure tea. Just fill a large plastic container with two forks full of manure and add water. Let it sit overnight or in the sun for a few hours and then pour directly on the plants. They seem to love it.

Some perennials might not want to be manured, especially with the fresh stuff right on their crowns. Iris and Peonies both don't want to be burried too deep so you can't put the manure on them, just nearby. When digging a hole for new plants I always incorporate a big pot full of manure and mix it in with the existing soil. When making a new bed I just add wheelbarrow load after wheelbarrow load and till before planting.

Many people are concerned about the weeds they get when using manure. My experience is I get plenty of weeds from my neighbor who doesn't touch anything or the birds that are always pooping poison ivy seeds here. The manure gets my perennials to grow so large and I plant so intensly that there's no room for the weeds to grow!

Good luck,
Melanie


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RE: Free Manure!

Melanie - lucky you!!!! Manure is awesome!
Just like seaweed to me its gold. I wish someone would dump some manure in my yard!!! :-)


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RE: Free Manure!

I can't blame the guy. I try to give away several cubic yards of manure each ear and don;t find many interested in stuff that does not come in a bag and takes a little work to get.


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RE: Free Manure!

Hello Melanie, can you please tell me the name of the farm? I would like to get in touch with them to see if they would deliver to Moriches.

Thanks !

Rachel


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RE: Free Manure!

Hi. Does anyone know where i can obtain free cow manure for my garden in the South Shore area (south of Boston)?


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