Discover the problems when you plant in fresh manure rather than compost
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Discover the problems when you plant in fresh manure rather than compost

August 14, 2019

for me the best way to discover things is to try them out if you have an idea that something might work and a couple of months ago I had an email from a guy who said he had great results using fresh horsemen as the when you have for growing potatoes apparently this is a trick used by many Irish people at different times and I’ve got access to fresh horsemen here this is now a month old and so I thought well I’ll go and get some two barrel loads here and see what I might grow in it and she planted kohlrabi and I had four potatoes this is something you aware you can grow potatoes late in the season when our September so this will happened in August and I kept four-seat potatoes from the spring you just keep them in a sunny windowsill so they just they carry on sprouting but very slowly and so they had spread I popped them in their service for potatoes but this one hasn’t come up and three four kohlrabi and the other is will they grow in the fresh hot minier but it wasn’t that hot actually because there isn’t enough of it to get really hot it’s more warm when you use this much sashing temperatures being around 30 centigrade 8090 fahrenheit no plants can tolerate that I’m intrigued actually that this kohlrabi for example looks as healthy as that because you think well it’s not a lot of goodness here it’s fresh manure in this case a lot of straw but more on that and fascinating unexpected consequences this is how we learn things really it’s what you don’t expect to find these weed seeds well of course we know that manure and compost often has a lot of weed season grass growing here but I’m mainly fascinated by that because when I’m using this manure as compost in my garden I’m seeing no weed seeds at all and so it’s showing most graphically how efficient and effective the composting process is when you can get enough temperature to kill the weed seeds you do need a big enough heat and you need to be adding reasonably regularly do it reasonably thoroughly you know we don’t get too difficult about it but if you get reasonably good at compost and get your compost heap pretty warm you can kill most weed seeds because when I spread compost made from this these ingredients with all these leases and I’m seeing almost zero weed growth on my bed [Music]

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  1. That's very interesting, Charles. Are you going to roll it out for more experimenting? I guess this time of year the extra warmth could extend quite a few late crop opportunities, especially with fleece/cloches ??

  2. Thank you so much Charles for sharing your knowledge. I'm in South Africa and already 2 months behind on my composting, trying out Jeff Lawtons style of 18 day compost, which requires turning a pile every 4 to 6 days. I'm just not making enough for my summer garden. Many of the suppliers of compost here have copious amounts of wood-chips added plus it's very black. Buying in a mixture of mushroom and commercially made compost for now till I get balanced with my own production.

  3. I had a disaster with my compost or what i thought was compost this year. It Obviously never got enough heat and didn't compost properly which resulted in a weed fest. Lesson learnt!😊

  4. Definitely unexpected! I like the fact you go against the 'rules' to try things that so often are discouraged against. This amazed me by the fact the plants were even able to grow in that medium, and like you, wouldn't think there would be so many viable weed seeds after digestion!

  5. Thank you, it's great to know that you can even use fresh horse manure. One question, will the feed or the bedding of hay/straw been treated with pesticides have residue that will effect the vegetables we grow? Main point in growing your own is to avoid the stuff the best we can.

  6. Charles if you received manure in that condition and put it through the composting process you describe what length of time are we talking about until it is ready for use.

  7. I am in a master gardener class and they teach if you plant in fresh manure you can get sick. Also if you don't put manure on the garden in fall you can get sick from eating those fruits and veggies. What are your thoughts? Since I follow the no dig method My compost pile naturally has potatoes growing in it and I transplant them.

  8. I've been growing in goat manure/hay and I've had great success! It's not a "hot manure" like some of the others. I just layer it on my beds every year. It's a continual process but thankfully I have a lot of goats

  9. Horse manure is a wonderful fertilizer, my grandparents always used it and had abundant produce. I have their old garden now, and come late fall, I'll loosen up the soil after everything is harvested out and work horse manure into it to stay there over winter. Come spring, the soil will be loosened up a little again with a pitchfork and plant compost will be raked in. But the main thing is the horse manure in late fall.

  10. Yes, I know from experience. An easy way to fill barren land with grass is to spread horse manure on it. You don't have to seed it.
    The other thing I'm thinking of is, "Does hot composting 'kill' weed seeds?" With hot composting, the pile is turned several times, weed seeds near the surface will germinate and then be smothered when the compost is turned. Another way of saying it is the repeated turning terminates the germination process of surface seeds.

  11. Funny I can grow almost anything, but for some reason, I simply cannot compost. Even tried leaf mould… Never works for me.

  12. That's a very interesting experiment, considering how most around here would be fairly quick to denounce it due to it possibly "burning" the plants.

    On that topic, something I've never understood relating to the use of fertilizers in the garden is that most people say that planting straight into compost (garden waste, composted manure, mushroom, etc.) can actually burn the seeds and prohibit sprouting because the compost has too many nutrients that young seedlings do not like. Yet it is also said that compost should not be used as a fertilizer but as a soil amendment to boost soil structure because it contains very little nutrients, thus excess fertilizer is required alongside it. If compost is so rich that it can burn a plant, then how does it have no nutrients? My own experiments with brassicas have shown that they do better than ever started in 100% mushroom compost from the store. Close to 100% germination, speedy growth, and just overall healthier plants than when I was using a nutrient-less seed starting mix that needed the addition of fertilizers every few days. It's really not that bad, but when every plant you start is said to require a completely different fertilizer, it adds up in cost and time-comsumption!!

    I do agree with others that have said the music can be a little bit distracting. Great video nonetheless!! Keep up the great work, Charles.

  13. Great tip, but the music is distracting and makes it difficult to hear what you are saying. Actually disturbing. Please keep it on very low if you really feel you want to mix it in. Personally I dont think it is necessary at all, for your information is so interesting in itself as it is.

  14. Hi Charles – very interesting experiment, thanks, particularly with regard to the grass. I have a farmer's field on my boundary and collected some straw that had blown onto my lane last year when they'd finished the harvest completely. I wanted this to mulch my small strawberry patch as I've often read that it's a good thing to do. Well, I don't think I'll be using it again as it sprouted so much, I couldn't see my strawberry plants! I still have some of that straw and will be putting it into my compost bins 🙂

  15. Is it necessarily a bad thing to have young grass growing in your garden bed? I can appreciate you wouldn't want some kind of creeping choking grass like cooch to get established, but young stuff like what I could see in this video would be very easy to turn over at the end of the season, making for increased organic matter rotting in the soil. During the season my understanding is that the increase in roots in the ground would make for more Mycorrhizal Fungi which is plant food on a stick (or root 🙂 ) It wouldn't help the Kohlrabi because I have read that Brasica can only feed off bacterial goodies in the soil and not fungus based ones, but the Potato's should be fine to feed off the increased fungi activity made possible by the grass roots. So perhaps the increased "weed" activity that comes from using fresh horse manure is part of why people say it produces a good crop of spuds?

  16. Charles, your videos have the perfect mix of light and dark colours, can I ask of you what camera you are filming with? and are you also editing the contrast or light after filming?

  17. Sounds like your working on content for 'Gardening Myths and Misconceptions' Vol 11 Charles 🙂 brilliant book by the way. I also like your method of using the compost heap heat as a base for keeping seed trays warm. Quite an inspiration. Problem I have, is that my main compost heap is now full of slow worms so I cant turn it now 🙄🐍 Had to start another in a black compost bin.

  18. Great that you highlight the importance of experimenting! This year I had major trouble with 8m3 of compost which I bought in early spring. It was made from horse manure and contained large amounts of woodshavings. We I got the delivery it was still burning at 60 C. Then i spread it on my new beds outside (former lawn) and in he polytunnel, about 12cm thick. Soon it turned out that almost all seedlings I planted in the compost stopped growing. Root development was really poor. Only the beds on which I applied much less compost yielded ok, the rest was a big disappointment. Still not sure what the issue was. First I thought that the amount of nutrients was just too high. But then I suspected a lack of nitrogen as the material was still breaking down. My tomatoes responded well to additional chicken manure. Or was the ph level too high? Any clues what might be behind this?

  19. I still have yet to master how to do a hot compost… for some reason it is beyond me even after looking at countless videos and reading a ton of materials of the subject.

  20. I feel as if it is about time to say something. For the past year and a half now I believe, I have been following your channel and I'd like to extend my gratitude towards you. You are such an inspiration to myself and many more I'm sure. I have seen almost all of your videos and each one is as great as the next, they are packed full of knowledge and information, and you yourself are an excellent teacher. Having a garden like yours has been my dream since I was a boy. My parents actually got me a green house for my 15th birthday! One of these days I hope to make that dream a reality. And I feel that if I continue to watch your videos, and one day obtain all of your books, I will be able to accomplish that goal. So once again, thank you so much!

  21. Great experiment, will be fascinating to see what happens, possibly the main difference may be plants anchoring themselves as they do in the ground. Looking forward to the update.

  22. Love the videos and your calm, peaceful manner. One question I have is if you compost first off the garden site, aren't you losing nutrients during the process, washing away or going into the soil under your compost pile not on your garden site? What nutrients are left in the finished compost verses what drain away from the pile? I'm sheet composting on the garden plot in the fall now. I have seen good results from others with this process. Do you have any thoughts on this issue? Thanks, your farm looks gorgeous!

  23. I had the borough guy stop by today and he asked me when my compost would be finished? This is the oddest thing I have ever heard. He has NO appreciation for growing foods, plants, or creating habitats:-( Now I have cardboard laying that i'm actively covering with coffee grounds every night. Unfortunately a strong and unusual wind came up today and blew some of the cardboard and newspapers around:-( We are usually laden with excessive rain and battling rust so that is why I did not expect to have the debris flying around. I did go out and water the cardboard (2) days in a row. We live in an instant society. I am supposed to wave my magic wand and say "Compost be done". I explained to him that the soil as such is clay and very slippery and needs to be improved upon. I was talking to a deaf ear:-(

  24. That's kind of weird looking "manure". It looks to me more like fresh bedding from a horse barn. I don't doubt it has some manure in it but it looks like mostly straw bedding from stalls in a horse barn. Is that what's called manure in the UK or was it just a visually friendlier way of showing it? I have a far different idea of what horse manure actually looks like and I've seen a lot of it over the years. I always heard horse manure was poor fertilizer compared to cattle and chicken…chicken being extremely high in N. I could see horse manure being okay used in compost that's aged for the manure component though.

  25. hey mate, just wondering if its ok to use not completly finished compost as potting mix, and if a fertiliser like urine would make it ok? cheers!

  26. Traditionally Irish gardeners used fresh Cow manure for Potatoes , never horse manure, this is due to the amount of live weed seeds in horse manure. The cow has four stomachs and her digestive process seems to kill the seeds, while the horse has only one stomach and is less efficient in digesting all the weed seed . Also Pathogens can live in manure for up to three months so its always best to compost first .

  27. I want to try your way making a no dig garden this spring. My father has a big pile of sheep manure covered with plastic. It has been like that about 18 years. Do you think I can use it as a compost for the garden? It's a long time and I'm not sure if it would have the necesary nutrients or organisms. Thanks and hugs from Spain.

  28. Sorry, I find this difficult to watch – I'm sure the information is compelling but the music is overpowering.

  29. Great video! We are trying to build up our soil and have access to goat manure but have been told it has a lot of weed seed. How should we compost it? Thank you.

  30. that also shows how Mother Nature works, so much grass is growing out of the manure as a way of not depleting the pastures after the horses have been through….and the cycle starts again ( obviously providing we are talking of herds of animals in the wild). Thanks for the videos, very inspirational

  31. Thanks for that, but can we have less of the volume of music, it's not necessary, we are hear to listen to what you have to say, and I struggle trying to concentrate when battling with the loudness of the music.

  32. Hi Charles
    Could you point me to a video of yours which shows how to correctly compost seperate hay and raw horse pooh together please?
    What ratio?
    In shade, under cover, or out in open in sun?
    Adding water: how much and when?
    Turning: when and how often?

  33. Charles I was wondering if there is a video on Strawberries and how you compost them in the second and third year without replanting the strawberries? hope to hear from you: Greetings, a fan from the Netherlands

  34. I take add all manner of seed to my compost. My newest piles are 1/2 hot 1/2 cold but produce no weeds (maybe a few tomatoes) but isn’t hot enough to kill seeds. Ive also noticed that’s something is always sprouting in it. That all has led me to wonder if much of the seed is sprouting and then turning it kills them.

  35. Hi, I just purchased some organic cattle compost from a local farmer, but when I put it on my garden plots it looks so lumpy. The dirt is all clump up, I am going to grow veggies. I will break up the clumps of compost. I hope it will be okay. This is my first time gardening. Lots to learn, that is for sure, and loving it. Take care from Canada I just hope the compost is okay?

  36. I agree music is distracting rather hear your voice thanks anyway. Always enjoy what you have to say don't want to miss any key points. I have learnt so much from you. Thank you so much.

  37. Yep seeds pass right thru horse. I have problems with the straw i buy for mulch being full of hay seeds. Quit using that medium as weeding is work.

  38. I live in southern Arizona. The problem here is keeping a compost heap moist enough. I put my horse manure in a plastic barrel and fill with water to get it completely soaked and allow it to decompose anaerobically, then when it is dry enough, I tip the barrel over on to the ground and roll it over on occasion. The opening in the top is large enough to get a spade in but small enough that the contents don't spill out. Except for the winter, the temps are high enough to allow it to cook.

  39. Mr. Dowding, you should make a video explaining how to properly rot fresh manure, also saying what's your definition of manure, as I see for some people "manure" is the mix of hay and poo, and for others is just the poo. Great videos and books!

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