The weight of any horse varies in proportion to the breed of the animal. An average adult riding horse weighs approximately 900 to 1,100 pounds that can produce up to 50 pounds of manure a day. A horse of that size produces 16,000 to 18,000 pounds of manure every year. Therefore, most horse farms are flooded with manure. One option for its disposal is to haul it to a landfill site, but that is not an eco-friendly option.
Also, some landfills do not accept horse manure. The better alternative would be to use it as a fertilizer.
In order to use horse manure as a fertilizer, make several piles of the collected horse manure near your flower garden. Using a shovel, one must break up the manure as much as possible. Now, a ratio of one part bone meal to three parts manure to each pile needs to be added. The bone meal should be worked in thoroughly with the shovel. Thereafter, a thin layer of the manure mixture should be applied from one pile around plants and in the flower beds. The manure must be about half inch thick, and using the shovel, one ought to work the fertilizer into the soil slightly. After this, a thin layer of horse manure fertilizer must be used around plants once a month during the growing season.
Although horse manure serves as an easy fertilizer but there is one related problem as well. Many stables use either sawdust or wood chips as bedding in horse stalls. As a result, when the stalls are cleaned, the dirty sawdust or wood chips are removed along with the horse manure. Horse manure is an excellent fertilizer but it is the wood chips and sawdust in the manure that can degrade the quality and affect the fertilizing ability of the manure. The breakdown of wood results in creating a nitrogen deficiency in the soil, which in turn stunts the growth of crops. However, this problem can be overcome by adding a nitrogen fertilizer to the soil after horse manure is spread on it; or a nitrogen fertilizer can be added to the horse manure and sawdust or wood shavings mixture before being added to the soil.
In light of this, a better way to use horse manure is to add it to a compost pile. When adding the manure to a compost pile, any sawdust and wood chips present in the manure do not cause harm. They simply act as a good brown component to compost. It takes about six months for the manure, sawdust or wood chips, and any other materials added to the compost pile to completely break down and give the end result known as black gold.
To make a compost pile with horse manure as one of the components, one can layer it with green compost items. Many experts suggest alternating layers of brown and green compost items as one requires sources of both carbon (brown items) and nitrogen (green items) in the compost pile. Horse manure, wood chips and sawdust are a great source of carbon. Sources of nitrogen for your compost heap include green leaves, freshly mown grass, vegetable and fruit peels, and coffee grounds. Although, coffee grounds are brown, but for the purposes of compost they are considered a green item because they provide the compost pile with nitrogen.
Since the compost pile is a living thing, water and air are required for it to prosper. In accordance with this need, the compost pile should be turned each week, adding water as needed to keep the compost pile damp. One can identify the completion of the breakdown process, when the compost material is dark and crumbly and fresh smelling. Once this black gold is obtained, it can be finally put to good use. In actual terms, compost cannot be denoted as a fertilizer. However, it is known to contain nutrients that can improvise the plant growth and soil fertility.
Strange that a smelly waste product can be transformed into an environmentally friendly and useful product!
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