Manure is organic matter and so is compost. Decomposed manure in most cases is safe in a garden in an unmixed state. Decomposed chicken manure may be too rich to be used unmixed. It all depends on the manure as to how to best use it. Do not use fresh out of the animal manure unless it is in pellet forms such as from a rabbit or a goat. What type of manure do you have and how old is it?What is the most appropriate way to use manure when preparing new raised beds? Is this something I can use as a substitute for compost?
It should be OK but, make sure that the hay is safe. Many if not most hay growers use a herbicide on their hayfields called Piclaram. A horse eats the hay and the herbicide stays in the feces. For years. To make sure the manure is not laced with herbicide get a shovel full of the stuff and put it in a 5 gallon bucket of water and let it sit for about 24 hours. Then pour it over a broadleaf weed. If the weed doesn't show any ill effect in 24 hours it is safe. And don't trust what the stable guy says because he probably doesn't grow the hay.Horse manure and it’s a few months old. A guy close to me has a stable and just gives it away.
NOTHING kills Piclaram. Its use is wide spread. It lasts for years in the soil. And the OP says he gives it away. Does the hay come from the same place all the time or does it come from different growers? Does the stable guy buy his hay from just one person? @DirtMechanic this is a serious thing and not just for this poster but, for everyone who reads this and uses baled hay. The test is simple and free. I am not saying all hay is sprayed with this chemical but a LOT of it is and to make sure seems to me a good thing. What does he have to lose except his garden?The guys who pay know what chemicals are on it. Ask them. Other than that its just coliform and unkilled pathogens that uv from sunlight could help with in short order.
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