Manure fertilizer

Asked March 16, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT

I have several barrels of horse manure (over a year old) to use for fertilizer and am wondering how to make sure it doesn't have e-coli problems for my garden I am planning. I have no money to purchase fertilizer and have very hard ground. I have seeds to start for vegetables and will also have transplants for an area probably 8x16 feet.

Denver County Colorado

1 Response

Due to the potential of transmitting human pathogens, such as E. coli, fresh manure
should not be used on fruits and vegetables. Even aged manure can have E. coli present. Your best bet is to compost manure to ensure that it is free of pathogens and also weed seeds. The following fact sheets can give you more information, composting guidelines, and application instructions:

http://www.cmg.colostate.edu/gardennotes/242.pdf

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09369.html