How Much Horse Manure Fertilzer to Use


For years gardeners have been adding manure to their garden beds to increase nutrient levels and grow healthier, more productive plants. What you may not know is that the manure also improves the aeration and water retention qualities of the soil. If you're considering using horse manure to fertilize your garden it's important to know just how much horse manure fertilizer to use. With a good dose of horse manure your plants, from vegetables to flowers, will benefit and pay you back in beautiful blooms and a good harvest.

Step 1

Spread a layer of manure over the entire surface of your garden anywhere from 1 to 3 inches deep. Make the layer as even as possible.

Step 2

Work around your existing plants and avoid touching them directly with the manure, especially at the trunk or stem. Leave the manure on the surface to act as mulch, or turn it in with the soil with a cultivator being careful to not disrupt any roots.

Step 3

Treat an empty, unplanted garden by mixing the manure with the soil in the bed. Turn the soil and the manure together multiple times up to 6 to 8 inches deep.

Step 4

Add more manure again in the late fall over a bare vegetable or annual bed and leave it on the surface over winter. Till the manure under in the spring as soon as the ground is workable.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be sure to only use composted manure that is already broken down. If the straw or sawdust bedding in the manure isn't broken down thoroughly it can actually stunt the growth of your plants, so well-rotted or composted manure is essential.

Things You'll Need

  • Composted horse manure
  • Shovel
  • Garden gloves
  • Cultivator


  • "Vegetable Gardening: Your ultimate guide"; Robert J. Dolezal; 2000

Who Can Help

  • A guide to composting horse manure
Keywords: horse manure, horse manure fertilizer, using horse manure as fertilizer

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.