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Fenland soil is the most fertile in our Country. It is the result of 1,000 years of rotting Reed Beds and animal dung. I am attempting to make an equivalent soil to offset Climate Change and hot dry summers. I have fetched 18 x 75litre compost bags of horse manure, and have stacked in under a shelter to keep it dry from leaching winter rains. Am hoping it will rot down. Then in the Spring I will mix the contents of 3 compost bins into it, and place in 8" deep trenches for my root vegetable seeds, grown in Peat pots to guarantee germination. Is anyone else doing this ? Can anyone give me further advice ? Please reply private message.



Hi....How big are the compost bins?

My black compost bins from the council are 240litres x 3 = 720litres of compost. So that would be nearly two parts manure to one part compost....

I wonder about the amount of horse manure to the amount of compost , and if its for seedlings... i am not sure they would like that too much.
Is the horse manure rotted, i presume it is as it sounds like its shop bought in bags?

Hope you don't mind me replying here, so people can see the question has an answer and what the answer is.


6 Oct, 2011


Also free from contamination by pesticides, particularly Kibosh or Kurtail? This applies to horse manure in particular.
I'm not a veggie grower, but I'm pretty sure I've read on here that root veggies do not like manured soil.
I'm responding publicly too - the point of this site is that everyone sees the information and comments and learns from it.

6 Oct, 2011


A thought - is the manure fresh? General advice is to let it rot down for a year. You are hoping to use it after the coldest months, during which the rotting process is at its slowest. I would echo what Funguy says - I don't think the seedlings will appreciate it.

6 Oct, 2011


If you are serious about caring for the environment why are you using peat? No vegetable needs to be grown in a peat compost! Frankly most root veggies do better sown direct into the soil...

6 Oct, 2011


To create an equivalent soil, even if you have all the ingredients correct, you would have to throw into it 1000 years of past climate changes, the effects of 1000 years of past bacterial growth and the effects of 1000 years of a hundred or more other former physical and biological variables that would be impossible to duplicate. In short, this cake is never going to come out of the oven baked just right.

7 Oct, 2011


Oh and Bamboo is correct carrots and parsnips do not like soil that has been manured. They both do best on a fine sandy soil. Hence vast quantities of them are grown in the Moray area and shipping all over the UK.

7 Oct, 2011


Ha ha. I knew Bamboo would surface ! The horse manure is fresh from a young lady who keeps 2 carthorses as pets, would you believe it . She wishes more people would fetch it. I have fetched it for 4 years, and had excellent results, huge Picasso potatoes, huge Onions etc. Have printed up all the replies to keep for reference. Funguy - Two parts manure to one part compost is what I was looking for.
I grow root vegetables in land that I manured 2 years ago. No problem. Sow seeds in ordinary soil in Peat Pots standing in 1" of water to germinate. Have lost £s trying to get them to germinate on the plot in cold dry springs. Using gallons of water costs the on the water bill. I wonder how many fields are irrigated by rotating water spraying in the Moray Firth area ? Thats water from the Public Water supply containing 18 different chemicals ! They lose 50% of their nutrient content on the lorries coming south, and on supermarket shelves. Thanks to Graterford and everyone for your help. It was the formula I was looking for.

7 Oct, 2011


The fields in Moray are not irrigated at all in a normal year. If they are the farmers have licences to abstract water from the rivers and burns. No tap water is used it would be far too costly and almost impossible to achieve. I agree that shipping any food crop around does not make sense but at least these are grown in the UK not Holland or Spain.

We grow biodynamically so no chemicals of any sort on our food crops and a lot of carrots are grown organically in the area.

Instead of peat pots might I suggest you make paper ones this is what Bulbaholic does and they work well.

Yes root veggies will grow in soil manured two years previously but even them we've discovered carrots in particular do better if there has been no manure for three years.

7 Oct, 2011


You growing root veg in land you manured two years ago, is different than your question, in which you state you will plant the root veg seedlings in a 2part manure to 1 part compost mix that you will fill trenches with in spring, then plant seedling in this mix, the same spring.

Regarding the peat pots(i love the irony,hehe), i have found they are prone to fungus, i am not sure how problematic this is for the seedling in the pot.But i didn't get on with them, and if your trying to offset climate change, it might set you back a step :)

And consider a little manure hot house, take a cold frame, but dig down 18" or so into the soil. Then fork in a foot of the fresh horse manure and then top it with 6" of soil. The manure will compost over the months untill spring, and heat the cold frame and soil, enabling you early crops.

Good luck Diane :)

7 Oct, 2011


Like the manure hot house suggestion Funguy.

7 Oct, 2011


Thank you everyone, for all the comments. Between you, me and the beanpole I rather like root vegetables with split roots, as they are easy to scrub, and chop for tray freezing. I dont grow for shows. Just fresh picked organic vegetables every day, all year round.
I once met a married couple, both GPs, and she told me she drives 56 miles every Saturday morning, to buy organic vegetables. They know where all the illness is coming from.
His brother's wife buys all their vegetables from an allotment gardener.
The Royal Family only eat vegetables from the Royal Gardens.
So we can all do the same, and grow our own, even if its in planters in a back yard.

This subject now closed.

8 Oct, 2011


Yes Moongrower, i liked it too...
I think it was shown on an Victorian era programme that was on T.V earlier this year, where they showed how they used to do things in the house and around the garden back in those times. By coincidence our college teacher employed the same technique in his garden the year previous to it being airing on t.v.
He was very impressed with his results(tbh, i think he was showing of a wee bit, lol, bringing his fresh dug veggies to class in April...proof of his endeavours!)
He was quite specific about what crops do best using that method of growing, i'm going to have a dig through my notes and see what it was he recommended as i can't remember.

8 Oct, 2011


I'd be interested to know Funguy...

8 Oct, 2011

How do I say thanks?

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