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When is manure ready to use?

United Kingdom Gb

I have very recently acquired a delivery of a couple of bags of rotted farm manure from a garden centre. Before I even opened the bags I noticed a rather pongy smell. It smells like cows smell,- that distinctive cow dung odour. I have used rotted farm manure on my garden for years, and it seems to do it a world of good. But all manure I've ever used before has been odourless and without even a trace of odour. That is why I was surprised to experience the smell which this recently purchased stuff has.
I am wondering, is it likely that this batch is not properly rotted yet and needs to be given more time to mature/decompose? Is it too fresh, and ought it not to have been sold as it was by its supplier? I don't want to spread it on my soil if it would be premature to do so and might harm my plants. I'd be really grateful if anyone can advise.
With kindest regards, JONATHAN H.



I am no expert but have heard that manure is only ready for use on the garden when it has lost any distinctive smell, so it would seem that maybe yours has been delivered too early.

This is quote I found on another website
"Fresh manure is considered "hot", which means it is still releasing high amounts of nitrogen compounds and ammonia into the soil as it breaks down. This can burn the roots of young plants and inhibit the germination of seeds . . ."

Maybe the company will replace this batch for an older one?

9 Apr, 2009


It isnt ready yet. it usually takes about 6 months or til it is odour free. which ever is sooner.

9 Apr, 2009

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