Rocky Point Poo

What is the difference between manure and compost?

Manure, when talking about using it in a garden, usually is referring to the fresh excreta of animals along with bedding, straw, or hay. Manure is the fresh stinky stuff.

 

Compost is the material created from the manure and is the result of the decomposition or decaying of organic materials. The compost process helps in minimizing pathogens, weed seed, and odors. Compost also has more stable levels of nutrients and can retain water better than straight manure. Our composted horse manure consists of horse manure, bedding pellets (a blend of Douglas Fir and Alder), and a small amount of hay.

Why should I use a horse manure compost over a steer manure compost?

Nitrogen is one of the top macronutrients needed to grow healthy plants. An average steer manure compost does not hold very much nitrogen in it, so when sold, it will either lack the proper nutrients or will have a nutrient supplement mixed in. Horse manure naturally has high levels of nitrogen therefore it does not need to have any extra additives, but still treats your plants well.

When can it be applied and how do I apply it?

Depending on what you want to use it for effects when you should apply it. Below is a table which provides a suggested timeline of when to apply our compost for various uses.

 

What’s the difference between a soil conditioner and a soil amendment?

The main purpose of a soil conditioner is to loosen or otherwise improve the soil structure for planting. A soil amendment is usually focusing on the nutrients it can provide to encourage and help establish plant growth.

Is it good to use for growing vegetables?

If horse manure is not composted thoroughly then it may contain pathogens that can contaminate your vegetables and make humans sick. However, our horse manure compost can be used in vegetable gardens and is excellent in growing large healthy plants because we make sure to compost it thoroughly and leave it to cure.

Is it okay to garden in 100% compost?

Most plants can grow in just compost, but it is best to mix compost with mineral soils (clay, sand or loam) for gardening, to get the best texture and provide a better anchorage for plant roots. Compost retains water so if you plant in straight compost you can also risk having too much water.

I have heard horse manure can be seedy. Why is that?

It is true that straight horse manure can be seedy, however, what we have is composted horse manure. Through the composting process weed seed germination is killed due to the heat generated. Also, our compost is done under cover. Many people who have used horse manure usually get it off piles in the open where weed seed can be carried by the wind onto the pile. By keeping our piles covered and thoroughly composting the manure, we do not have seedy compost.

Why do you use conveyor belts to move the horse manure?

Using conveyor belts in our process breaks apart the horse manure to mix it, add oxygen, and add rainwater in an even and consistent manner. In addition, the conveyors help in turning the compost over which speeds up the composting process. Since the composting manure is spread out and mixed, the conveyor belts, also aid in even aeration.

Why do you mix the bedding in with the horse manure?

Bedding material comes from the stalls in the horse barn. We do not specifically add it, however it is used to soak up the horse pee. Bedding material (such as the Douglas fir and Alder blend we use) is a high source of carbon. In addition, the horse pee in the bedding contains a high source of nitrogen. Bedding material in our compost increases the number and quantity of nutrients that are essential to plant growth.

Why do you need oxygen in the compost?

The way that compost breaks down is by way of the bacteria in the pile. If the bacteria are not getting enough oxygen, the process is greatly slowed down. Getting air flow through compost also controls pile temperatures and diminishes odors.

 

Through each of our bins we have pipes allowing air and oxygen to passively reach the different parts of the compost. There are about 15 air feeder lines running through the sides and bottom of each of our treatment cells. This airflow eliminates odors and speeds up the composting.

Why add water?

Adding water maintains the moisture level so nutrients are not lost. It helps in stabilizing the compost to maximize its efficiency. The way it is done here at Rocky Point Stables is eco-friendly as well. All the water used in our composting is collected rainwater. Through each turning cycle, water is dripped onto the conveyor belt and soaked up by the compost as it is carried into the next bin. This maintains the correct moisture content to maximize the composting.

What do you mean by turning the compost?

“Turning” is when a pile is shifted and moved so more oxygen can filter in. Here, we “turn” our piles by unloading from one treatment cell and then using conveyor belts to move it to the next treatment cell. Using the conveyors allows for an even amount of aeration which helps in breaking down the manure to get rid of clumps. It also aids in mixing the compost so the different compounds are more evenly spread. Throughout our composting process, we turn the pile four times.

How are the treatment cells heated to get such high temperatures? Why?

The high temperatures are achieved naturally by the bacteria in horse manure as they break down. The high temperatures achieved are helpful in killing any seeds that may still be present in the manure as well as killing many pathogens that might be there. The first treatment cell in our process heats up to between 150 and 160 degrees.

 

To see our resources and how we got our information, click here .

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between manure and compost?

Manure, when talking about using it in a garden, usually is referring to the fresh excreta of animals along with bedding, straw, or hay. Manure is the fresh stinky stuff.

 

Compost is the material created from the manure and is the result of the decomposition or decaying of organic materials. The compost process helps in minimizing pathogens, weed seed, and odors. Compost also has more stable levels of nutrients and can retain water better than straight manure. Our composted horse manure consists of horse manure, bedding pellets (a blend of Douglas Fir and Alder), and a small amount of hay.

Why should I use a horse manure compost over a steer manure compost?

Nitrogen is one of the top macronutrients needed to grow healthy plants. An average steer manure compost does not hold very much nitrogen in it, so when sold, it will either lack the proper nutrients or will have a nutrient supplement mixed in. Horse manure naturally has high levels of nitrogen therefore it does not need to have any extra additives, but still treats your plants well.

When can it be applied and how do I apply it?

Depending on what you want to use it for effects when you should apply it. Below is a table which provides a suggested timeline of when to apply our compost for various uses.

 

What’s the difference between a soil conditioner and a soil amendment?

The main purpose of a soil conditioner is to loosen or otherwise improve the soil structure for planting. A soil amendment is usually focusing on the nutrients it can provide to encourage and help establish plant growth.

Is it good to use for growing vegetables?

If horse manure is not composted thoroughly then it may contain pathogens that can contaminate your vegetables and make humans sick. However, our horse manure compost can be used in vegetable gardens and is excellent in growing large healthy plants because we make sure to compost it thoroughly and leave it to cure.

Is it okay to garden in 100% compost?

Most plants can grow in just compost, but it is best to mix compost with mineral soils (clay, sand or loam) for gardening, to get the best texture and provide a better anchorage for plant roots. Compost retains water so if you plant in straight compost you can also risk having too much water.

I have heard horse manure can be seedy. Why is that?

It is true that straight horse manure can be seedy, however, what we have is composted horse manure. Through the composting process weed seed germination is killed due to the heat generated. Also, our compost is done under cover. Many people who have used horse manure usually get it off piles in the open where weed seed can be carried by the wind onto the pile. By keeping our piles covered and thoroughly composting the manure, we do not have seedy compost.

Why do you use conveyor belts to move the horse manure?

Using conveyor belts in our process breaks apart the horse manure to mix it, add oxygen, and add rainwater in an even and consistent manner. In addition, the conveyors help in turning the compost over which speeds up the composting process. Since the composting manure is spread out and mixed, the conveyor belts, also aid in even aeration.

Why do you mix the bedding in with the horse manure?

Bedding material comes from the stalls in the horse barn. We do not specifically add it, however it is used to soak up the horse pee. Bedding material (such as the Douglas fir and Alder blend we use) is a high source of carbon. In addition, the horse pee in the bedding contains a high source of nitrogen. Bedding material in our compost increases the number and quantity of nutrients that are essential to plant growth.

Why do you need oxygen in the compost?

The way that compost breaks down is by way of the bacteria in the pile. If the bacteria are not getting enough oxygen, the process is greatly slowed down. Getting air flow through compost also controls pile temperatures and diminishes odors.

 

Through each of our bins we have pipes allowing air and oxygen to passively reach the different parts of the compost. There are about 15 air feeder lines running through the sides and bottom of each of our treatment cells. This airflow eliminates odors and speeds up the composting.

Why add water?

Adding water maintains the moisture level so nutrients are not lost. It helps in stabilizing the compost to maximize its efficiency. The way it is done here at Rocky Point Stables is eco-friendly as well. All the water used in our composting is collected rainwater. Through each turning cycle, water is dripped onto the conveyor belt and soaked up by the compost as it is carried into the next bin. This maintains the correct moisture content to maximize the composting.

What do you mean by turning the compost?

“Turning” is when a pile is shifted and moved so more oxygen can filter in. Here, we “turn” our piles by unloading from one treatment cell and then using conveyor belts to move it to the next treatment cell. Using the conveyors allows for an even amount of aeration which helps in breaking down the manure to get rid of clumps. It also aids in mixing the compost so the different compounds are more evenly spread. Throughout our composting process, we turn the pile four times.

How are the treatment cells heated to get such high temperatures? Why?

The high temperatures are achieved naturally by the bacteria in horse manure as they break down. The high temperatures achieved are helpful in killing any seeds that may still be present in the manure as well as killing many pathogens that might be there. The first treatment cell in our process heats up to between 150 and 160 degrees.

 

To see our resources and how we got our information, click here .

 

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