There is nothing like a truckload of fresh horse manure.
I found the source for this manure on Craig’s List about 2 year ago. The man lives a hour away and he has four horses. He scoops the manure out of the area where he keeps the horses. There is no bedding mixed in with it, just a rock every now and then. So basically, it is pure straight fresh horse manure. There is a group of four of us that rotate to pick up the manure around the 1st of each month. My pick up was Jan 1.
I can only fit about half of the pile in my truck (Chevy S10) and normally the guy that picks up the month after me gets my left-overs. This month I asked my neighbors if they wanted to go with me and fill their truck too. YES! We each filled our trucks.
About a year ago my neighbors introduced me to a family that has a horse stable about 7 miles from us and I am able to go anytime and get a load of manure from them. It is the stuff that is mucked out from the stalls and has bedding mixed in with it. They use a really fine cedar shaving for the bedding, so the mixture is really fine and broken up when ever I load it.
When my neighbors agreed to come on my manure run with me I told them it was an hour away and they still wanted to go. The man with the horses was thrilled we could get it all in one trip. My neighbors were thrilled with the quality of the manure that they have agreed to go with me when my next pick date comes around.
Ten years ago I never would have thought I would get excited about a truck load of manure. Seven years ago when I bought my truck to use for hauling my set-up and supplies to do art shows around Southern California and Arizona I never would have dreamed of putting manure it in (that would get it all dirty you know!) Now my little truck is seeing a whole new world; loads of manure, loads of mulch, and loads of tree trimmings to take to get chipped up.
A beautiful load of manure or mulch is just another one of those little things that make me happy.
It is funny the things that we get excited about.
Ya, it is funny. And fresh horse manure just makes me smile!
Hooray! I wish I had a source for manure that I could be sure came from animals not fed hay with persistent herbicides applied. You are a super lucky gal!
It is worth the drive and I do feel lucky!
There are no bovines, ruminants or equines that are not fed grass or hay. There are organic fertilizer and weed control products used especially by your smaller horse farms, like us, if you are concerned about pesticides. If you are also concerned about weed seeds in your natural manure, then compost it. Heat kills most of those. That being said, no gardener can escape weeding, regardless of the source of the weeds. The wind and birds bring more than your fresh horse manure. I have a long, 500 foot fence line dotted with hackberry trees all planted by pooping birds sitting on the fence line sunning themselves!
Fresh horse or cow manure should be used to prep garden soil about 180 days before harvest, not applied to growing plants or soon-to-be-eaten vegetables. Many suburban dwellers with small plots or raised beds or greenhouses love fresh horse or steer manure for soil prep and warmth over the winter.
And again, they also will take a bag of fresh horse poop and compost it themselves. (BTW: I have seen references to fresh horse poop smelling “bad” and want to note that all “horsepeople” find the smell of a horse barn to be wonderful!)
Hi Pamela – thank you for stopping by. I am a little confused by parts in your comment so I went back and re-read my post to make sure I didn’t miss something. I didn’t mention anything about concerns for weeds. Weeds come with the territory – owning a home, planing a garden and using horse manure (or any manure for that matter) and some “weeds” I eat. I invite the birds to my yard and I do know they are a big source of re-planting from the seeds that they eat. The manure I bring home is composted before I put it on the garden. If I use fresh manure, it is put into a bed that isn’t being used and worked into the soil for future planting. I am thrilled to have found this source of manure and I continue to drive an hour to get it. I have never complained about the “smell.” It is not a bad smell to me at all. I did not grow up around horses every day of my life but I have been around horses and those smells still conger up wonderful memories to me.
Great stuff. This reminds me of John Wayne’s Quiet Man where horse $h!t was “good for the roses”.
I will think of John Wayne and a few other cowboys when I am in Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley in a few days. Might have to take a side drive to Pioneer Town where lots of the old wetserns where made.
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