How to Compost Horse Manure for Your Garden

Get started now to prep for your spring garden.

Horse manure can serve as an excellent fertilizer for your flower garden. Journal photo.

Horses eat a lot, and in turn, they produce a lot of manure! So, what do you do with it? Some of us have it hauled off, some spread it over the field and some don’t even think twice about it.

The good news is, there is a simple solution to your manure blues. Horse manure makes a great fertilizer for your garden!

Before using as a fertilizer, your horse manure must compost. This can easily be done in an area where it can be left alone for an extended period of time, such as a field or a compost box out behind the barn.

Although composting horse manure may take up to a year, it will be worth it in the end.

The purpose behind composting the manure is to allow the excessive nitrogen levels to diminish before applying to your garden. This nitrogen could damage the plants and would do more harm than good.

What You’ll Need

  • Horse to produce manure
  • Place to store manure
  • Plants that need some extra love
  • Shovel or spade


  1. Compost: Make sure that your horse manure is fully composted before applying to your garden. A compost should look like moist soil and should not be recognizable as horse manure.
  2. Apply: Generously apply your composted horse manure to the area surrounding your plants; you can’t possibly over-do it!
  3. Mix: Take a shovel or spade and mix the composted horse manure with six inches of top-soil, ensuring that your plants roots will have access to all the nutrients that the manure can provide.
  4. Enjoy: Composted horse manure is full of nutrients that your plants will love!

Happy gardening!