Horse manure in a pit question

So I've dug these 4' deep by 5' diameter pits in order to put soil into my potato tire towers. A kind friend gave me a load of reasonably dry horse manure, which nicely filled the pits back up to grade level. What do I do with this stuff now? Keep it moist so it will rot? Cover it with dirt? Put wood shavings on top? Buy some worms and let'em loose? The surrounding soil, by the way, is compacted sand - it drains well, but is stable enough to maintain a vertical hole as deep as I care to dig...
Thanks in advance for any suggestions. Dick Lovering
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So I've dug these 4' deep by 5' diameter pits in order to put soil into my potato tire towers. A kind friend gave me a load of reasonably dry horse manure, which nicely filled the pits back up to grade level. What do I do with this stuff now? Keep it moist so it will rot? Cover it with dirt? Put wood shavings on top? Buy some worms and let'em loose? The surrounding soil, by the way, is compacted sand - it drains well, but is stable enough to maintain a vertical hole as deep as I care to dig...
Thanks in advance for any suggestions. Dick Lovering
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snipped-for-privacy@ix.netcom.com writes:

You are very fortunate, Dick, for such a gift. If you have plants to spread a thin layer around, use it for that. You can just leave it in a pile for future use. No need to keep it moist, it'll take care of itself. As for the worms, they will come, no need to purchase any. The horse manure I'm fortunate enough to get for my garden includes and unbelievable amount of earthworms; they are doing their thing. After the worms are finished with it, the "product" is the richest soil a person could desire. You might want to just leave it in a pile and add it to the pits you have filled now; the manure in the pits will shrink as the earthworms work on them, as well as the rain settling it through the coming months.
You can certainly start a compost bin with it, using just fence wire as the bin if you wish, and start laying horse manure and vegetative matter. You will have potting soil that will be the envy of your gardening friends.
The horse manure I've been fortunate to get in past years had a generous supply of oak leaves in it and was several months aged so it was absolutely premium to spread on the garden and rototill in for the current season.
Just my thoughts and my experience.
Glenna
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Glenna Rose wrote:

I've just (in mid-May) put a trench into my front herb garden and filled it with 3 m3 horseshit, supplied by my neighbor - who keeps horses. The manure is nicely burned, been in the manure heap below the stables since last year.
I put about 20 cm of soil (the soil I had dug out to make the trench in the first place) On top of the heap of steaming brown stuff, after which I replanted my herbs.
The result is a hotbed, and can't be done in autumn: the plants may not have time to reroot and get ready for winter, and in fact the heat from below fools them into thinking that summer is still going strong, even in late autumn, so even if they had time they won't get winter-ready.
I have _enormous_ leaves on my biennials this year. That's milk thistle, clary sage, and similar. I'm a tad concerned that the soil might be too rich for some of the herbs, but so far no casualties, beyond the ones that were due to dug-up plants being parked on newspaper for the two weeks I was busy digging.
Henriette
--
Henriette Kress, AHG Helsinki, Finland
Henriette's herbal homepage: http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed
  Click to see the full signature.
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Dear Glenna and Henriette, Thanks for your prompt and useful information. As my garden evolves, I'll use the aged manure more and more. Wish I could send you some potatoes- they're going to be impressive... Dick Lovering
writes:

my
do
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itself.
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I planted asparagus in mine, after putting about 2 inches of dirt on top of the manure. Then as the asparagus started growing, I kept adding dirt until I had about 6 inches on top of the asparagus roots. Boy is it good eating. You are going to get stuff growing from the manure unless you cover it for awhile to keep it from getting sunlight..
Dwayne
writes:

into
horse
to
a
I
ones
weeks
Finland
http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed
http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed/rhod/main.html
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snipped-for-privacy@kans.com writes:

I bet you have some super stuff there! I read that asparagus should be bedded for winter with aged horse manure and try to remember to do that. I'm hoping for good harvestable (more than a couple of spears) this next spring. :-)
snipped-for-privacy@ix.netcom.com writes:

I wish you could also! Wouldn't it be great if we could all get together one weekend and share our most favorite product of the year?!
Glenna
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