How do I keep weeds sprouting from horse manure compost?

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I have access to huge mounds of horse manure that I want to make into compost. But there are weeds growing in it and I don’t want to import the weeds to my garden. Is there any way to prevent this?


  5 answers
  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on May 14, 2020

    About the only way to control them is to get the pile to heat up to seed killing temperatures. Very likely you will need to add other organic matter to make this happen. Horse manure often contains a lot of bedding and this slows the process and limits the heat the manure should generate, Adding some "greens" - nitrogen sources like grass clippings, plant trimmings or chicken manure, blood meal or alfalfa meal will help.

    And aerate the pile by turning periodically if you can......your tractor should be helpful for this :-)

    If you can raise the temperature of your pile up to at least 140F (160F is even better) and hold it there for 3-4 days, the bulk of the weed seeds should be killed off.

  • It needs to be composted in a hot compost pile to kill the weed seeds. Here's a link:

    https://homeguides.sfgate.com/kill-weed-seeds-cow-manure-104263.html

  • Em Em on May 14, 2020

    Use your lawnmower grass clippings. Cover with as much as you can. You will be surprised how hot it gets inside the pile of grass. Cover it each time you cut the grass. If a neighbor has a mulching mower with a bag ask them for the grass from their mower bag.

  • cover with a thick layer of mulch to help suffocate the weeds

  • Betsy Betsy on May 14, 2020

    Hi Thea: First, you don't want to use fresh manure on your plants as it's not aged enough and can burn your plants. As for the weeds, when you are putting the manure down, just pull them out. They are going to grow no matter what you do as some of the seeds that have been eaten have slipped through the system without being digested and/or crushed when eaten. I have done lots of things to keep the grass from growing, to no avail. Just taking them out when spreading seems to be the easiest for me. Good luck