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View Full Version : Anybody soil tested their compost?



subk
Apr. 6, 2011, 10:49 PM
I'm probably over thinking this, but I was wondering how different beddings effect the outcome of composting horse manure. Is my horse manure/pellet compost significantly different than say horse manure/straw compost or just straight manure? Anybody sent a horse manure compost sample to your extension agent for testing?

Alagirl
Apr. 6, 2011, 11:13 PM
I do believe the bigger landscaping supply companies have their stuff tested.

It's not a bad idea. naturally, what you put in affects the result.

If you look at books for garden compost, the possibilities are endless for specialties, like leaves only, or pine straw...

JB
Apr. 7, 2011, 07:45 AM
Wood decomposing draws out nitrogen from the area in which it's decomposing. Straw doesn't.

Daydream Believer
Apr. 7, 2011, 07:55 AM
I have tested mine with my home test kit. It was high in nitrogen and adequate in Potash and phosphorus. It was no where near as acidic as I expected. It was right about neutral. I added that to soil (several inches on top that was tilled in) which was a touch alkaline, and low in all but Potash. I also added rock phosphate to my soil. I will add some other organic amendments as I go.

My compost was some straw and some shavings..a mix. Straw is generally accepted as the best for gardening. It generally decomposes a bit faster than wood products also. I switched over to straw this winter and am sticking with it. I find it a lot less dusty and irritating to my own senses and I will have lots of yummy straw compost for next season.

Tamara in TN
Apr. 7, 2011, 08:51 AM
I'm probably over thinking this, but I was wondering how different beddings effect the outcome of composting horse manure. Is my horse manure/pellet compost significantly different than say horse manure/straw compost or just straight manure? Anybody sent a horse manure compost sample to your extension agent for testing?

yes we send our manures to be tested if that counts.anyone can do it.

Tamara

DiablosHalo
Apr. 7, 2011, 09:38 AM
There are manure testing labs throughout the country. Not expensive. Contact your local ag extension office for info...

deltawave
Apr. 7, 2011, 04:35 PM
I've only tested the pH. Pretty close to neutral.

anchodavis
Apr. 11, 2011, 05:27 AM
I have tested mine with my home test kit. It was high in nitrogen and adequate in Potash and phosphorus. It was no where near as acidic as I expected. It was right about neutral.

I just did this yesterday with a home kit and had basically the same results... I was hoping for more acidity as my soil is very heavy clay and low nutrient except for phosphorus; also very alkaline! Still gotta buy some lime I guess.

Daydream Believer
Apr. 11, 2011, 07:58 AM
anchodavis

Actually no, if your soil is alkaline you will need to add Sulfur to acidify it. Lime makes soil more alkaline.

Now I'm no expert but I was told that low phosphorus can make the PH low also...so you might not worry too much this year and add lots of compost and a rock phosphate amendment to make up what the compost does not add. Check it later in the Fall and that is when you can really get a good picture of what you need to do. Also any amendments added in the Fall will have had time to have an effect by Spring.

I'm going to top dress most of my plants with compost and a general organic fertilizer and hope that is enough for them. This year I moved from just raised beds into a much larger farm garden. I am experimenting a bit as well as learning.