Horse manure is very fibrous, rots down quickly and is regarded as being useful for heavy clay soils because of its fibre content. It also works well on sandy soils. It can be incorporated into the soil, or used as a mulch to about 5cm (2″) thick. If there are stables in your area they’ll often have piles of horse manure which they will allow you to take away for free. Horse manure is also sold in rural areas for around $1-$2 a bag.
If you are lucky enough to get some horse manure from racing stables you’ll find that there are weed seeds in it, because racehorses eat lots of grain. Don’t worry about these weeds, think of them as a bonus! Wait until they are at least 30 or 40cm (1′) high, then simply pull them out and lay them on the soil to compost and enrich the soil further.
Nine times out of ten trailers have old tyres on them, and as soon as you load the trailer up the tyres go flat. To avoid being stranded with two flat tyres, check the pressure and put some air into your trailer tyres before heading off to the stables for horse manure. Also don’t forget to cover the load, otherwise there will be a trail of manure between your place and the stables!
Don Burke’s article, “The Wonderful World of Manures”, is featured in the August edition of the Burke’s Backyard magazine. Back issues are available for $4.60 each. Make cheques payable to ACP Direct and send to Burke’s Backyard, Reply Paid 3508, Sydney, NSW 2001, Australia (postage free in Australia).