Is Horse Manure Good Fertilizer?


Horse manure has long been a subject of discussion amongst garden enthusiasts. Its abundant availability has led to the question of whether it makes good fertilizer or not. Horse manure contains high levels of nutrients that plants require for growth, making it a desirable material to fertilize crops.

When used properly, horse manure can improve soil quality and fertility by increasing organic matter and soil structure. Microbes in the soil break down the organic matter in manure into nutrients that plants can absorb. Additionally, horse manure contains lower levels of salt than other types of manures such as chicken or cow, which means it is less likely to damage crops.

It is important to note that fresh horse manure should never be applied directly onto plants as it may contain harmful pathogens such as Salmonella which can cause illness. To reduce the risk of contamination, allow horse manure to decompose for at least six months before applying. Gardeners may also want to conduct a soil test prior to applying the manure to determine if additional nutrients are necessary.

A farmer once discovered that his horses produced more droppings after they ate green plant products like alfalfa hay and grass. He also found out that higher nutrient content was in those droppings than when horses were given grain feed only. This suggests that what horses eat contribute significantly to the benefits derived from their waste products.

What do you call a pile of horse manure? A stable investment.

What is Horse Manure?

Horse manure is a natural fertilizer composed of horse waste and bedding material like straw or sawdust. As horses are herbivores, the manure contains nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that plants need for healthy growth.

Looks like horses not only provide us with horsepower, but also with garden power!

Nutrient Content of Horse Manure

The Nutrient Composition of Horse Manure

Horse manure has been used as a natural fertilizer since ancient times. Its high nutrient content makes it an excellent soil conditioner. Here’s a breakdown of the nutrient composition of horse manure in terms of macronutrients and micronutrients.

Nutrient Content of Horse Manure Table:

Nutrient Amount per Kg
Nitrogen (N) 2.5 – 3.8
Phosphorus (P) 1 – 2
Potassium (K) 3 – 4
Calcium (Ca) 0.9 – 1.4
Magnesium (Mg) 0.5 – 0.9
Sulfur (S) 0.6 – 1
Zinc (Zn) <10 ppm

Horse manure also contains other micronutrients such as boron, iron, copper, and manganese in small amounts that are vital for plant growth.

In addition to its nutrients content, horse manure improves soil structure by enhancing aeration, draining water faster and increasing organic matter accumulation over time.

To obtain the best results from using horse manure as fertilizer, allow it to age for at least six months because fresh horse manure may burn your plants due to excess nitrogen content that can result in unhealthy growth. It is recommended to use matured composted horse manure instead of fresh so the nutrients are readily available to plants without causing damage. Also, applying too much horse manure at once can overload the soil with phosphorus levels leading to adverse effects on plant growth and aquatic ecosystems near your farm or garden.

By taking advantage of this natural organic fertilizer source, you can increase the quality and yield of your crops, shrubs, and flowers. Turn your garden into a horse’s playground with the benefits of using horse manure as fertilizer.

Benefits of Using Horse Manure as Fertilizer

Using Horse Manure as Organic Fertilizer

Horse manure has been used for centuries to enrich soil and promote healthy plant growth. Here are some benefits of using horse manure as organic fertilizer.

  • It is an excellent source of nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, making it a great supplement to soil.
  • Horse manure helps improve soil structure by enhancing its water-holding capacity and aeration capabilities.
  • The presence of beneficial organisms in horse manure helps break down organic matter, releasing vital nutrients for plants.
  • Compared to synthetic fertilizers, the use of horse manure offers a more environmentally friendly alternative that’s also cost-effective.

It is important to note that fresh horse manure should not be used directly on plants as it can burn them due to high levels of ammonia. It is recommended to age or compost the manure first before applying it to plants.

When using horse manure as fertilizer, it is crucial to ensure it comes from healthy horses that are free from any medication or antibiotic use. Additionally, proper storage and handling techniques should be followed to avoid contamination.

To further enhance the effectiveness of horse manure as fertilizer, it can be mixed with other organic matter such as yard waste or composted leaves for improved soil nutrition and structure.

Don’t have a cow, manure is the way to go – here’s how to use horse dung in your garden.

How to Use Horse Manure as Fertilizer

Horse manure is an excellent fertilizer, providing essential nutrients for plant growth. To maximize its benefits, it’s crucial to understand the proper way to use horse manure as fertilizer.

Here’s a 5-Step guide to using horse manure as fertilizer:

  1. 1. Prepare your soil by digging or tilling it.
  2. Next, spread a layer of horse manure over the soil.
  3. After that, mix the manure into the soil using a garden fork or hoe.
  4. Water the soil thoroughly to help distribute the nutrients from the manure throughout the soil.
  5. Finally, wait at least four weeks before planting anything in the fertilized soil so that the manure can fully decompose and release its nutrients gradually.

It’s important to note that fresh horse manure should never be used directly on plants as it can burn them due to high nitrogen levels. Also, it’s wise only to use horse manure from healthy horses and avoid any contaminated with drugs like antibiotics.

Studies conducted by researchers from Washington State University have shown that horse manure can improve soil structure and water retention while reducing erosion.

Remember to wear gloves when handling the manure, unless you want to smell like the backside of a horse for the rest of the day.

Precautions and Safety Measures

Taking Necessary Precautions and Safety Measures When Using Horse Manure as Fertilizer

Using horse manure as fertilizer is a cost-effective and efficient way to boost plant growth. However, one should take necessary precautions and safety measures to prevent any potential health hazards.

To ensure safe handling of horse manure, below are some safety measures that you need to follow:

1 Wear gloves when handling horse manure.
2 Store manure away from living quarters.
3 Avoid using materials contaminated with feces for human consumption.
4 Clean your hands thoroughly after handling the manure, before eating, or smoking.

In addition to these safety measures, it’s essential to check the quality of horse manure before using it in your garden beds. Make sure it does not have a foul odor or weeds growing in it as these can harm your plants and introduce unwanted pests into your garden.

When mixing horse manure with soil, avoid over-applying it as excessive nitrogen content may promote soft growth leading to various diseases. Additionally, one should allow enough time for the manure to compost before applying it directly onto seedlings rather than mature plants.

To sum up:

  • Safety measures such as wearing gloves and washing hands need to be followed.
  • Using uncontaminated manure without weeds or harmful additives is recommended.
  • Over-application should be avoided while giving enough time for composting.

By following these suggestions, you can use horse manure effectively and safely as a nutrient-rich fertilizer on your plants. You may not want to eat it, but your plants sure love a little horsey-doo-doo in their diet.


Horse manure can be an excellent fertilizer for your garden. It contains essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that plants need to grow. When properly composted, it can improve soil structure, water retention, and aeration. The microbial activity in the composting process breaks down the organic matter in manure, making it easier for plants to absorb the nutrients.

It is important to note that fresh horse manure should not be used directly on your garden as it can contain harmful pathogens that can cause illness. Instead, make sure to compost it for at least six months before using it.

In addition to being a great fertilizer option, horse manure also has the added benefit of being widely available from local farms or stables. You can even offer to help with stall cleaning in exchange for free manure!

A study conducted by the University of Georgia found that horse manure compost produced higher crop yields than synthetic fertilizers in certain crops like tomatoes and corn.

Overall, if you are looking for an organic and sustainable way to fertilize your garden, consider using properly composted horse manure as an option.

Related Posts

Andrew Fisher

Andrew Fisher

Andrew is a dedicated father of three who really takes pride in his lawn and garden. You'll find Andrew behind the scenes of almost everything Edge Your Lawn produces. When he's not helping readers find all the information they need, he's in his backyard working on his lawn and garden landscaping. This year he hopes to build an outdoor deck and sort out his veg patches.

Popular Articles

Restring A Weed Eater
Beginner's Guides

How To Restring A Weed Eater

Many people use a bump feed weed eater which is super convenient as all you need to do is bop the head of your string ...
Read More →

Recent Posts