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Horse manure & pH

What effect does adding horse manure have on soil pH?

Depends on several things :

1. Is this pure horse manure (no straw) ?
2. How old is it ?

Adding pure, fresh horse manure will make your soil more acid.

Adding well-rotted pure horse manure - less acid, but depending on whether the muck was covered up/outdoors, some of the nutrients, especially Nitrogen, may have leached out / evaporated.

Fresh manure with straw : straw [high Carbon] will have the effect of 'locking up' some of the Nitrogen until the straw breaks down, when you get a more stable [hohoho] form of N, which is a good thing - slower release for plants.

Well-rotted manure with straw - straw should have broken down at least partially [see immediately above]

Adding manure will always make your soil more acid.

So, how I work it on a 4-course veg rotation is :
Manure in spring onto Spuds (they like acid - pH 5.5 - soil and need manure)
Legumes in last year's spud bed - no need for manure, but lime in autumn to increase pH to 6 or 6.5 before spring bean sowing
Brassicas - lime lightly in autumn to return pH to 6 or 6.5, optional spring light application of muck
Roots - leave soil well alone; no lime, no muck.

thanks for that. I have a spread from fresh to 5 years old (all with straw) the older stuff is rotted almost to a peat texture. Will use all but the fresh stuff, hopefully getting is spread and ploughed in in a week or so then rotavated over ready for fencing off & planting up.

Are you wanting to improve soil structure or soil fertility ?

The older stuff (peatlike) will improve soil structure
The newer will improve fertility - BUT by spring, some of the nutrients will have leached away in the rain.

Apply muck in autumn to improve soil structure
Apply muck in early spring for fertility-building

soil structure more than fertility, very dense at the mo, but then it hasn't been worked for at least 10 years

Compacted ? Waterlogged ?
Ploughing now might help with drainage if that is a problem (but it will release fertility unnecessarily - see other thread)

whoops something odd happened there

LOL, hit edit not quote?
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