Thursday, June 05, 2008

Horse Poo

It's a constant battle to make sure the front of our house looks as nice as the rest on our leafy street. Our next door neighbour has a gardener. We have me. And sometimes Nick if I can persuade him that gardening really can be fun if you try.

To perk up the lack lustre borders in the front garden I decided to buy some bags of manure from B&Q to mulch around the plants. I was amazed at the price! £4 for a small 50l bag of old cow pats. I bought a bag and it barely mulched around 4 rose bushes.

Being the skin-flint I am I took matters in my own hands and called up a local riding stables to try and blag some manure at a slightly better price. ‘Of course!’ said the nice stable lady. ‘If you dig it out yourself you can have as much as you want’.

I admit, there was a moment when I nearly lost a welly through suction from the enormous dung heap that I wondered if perhaps £4 for a nice sterile bag from B&Q was the more sensible option. The foot hills of the heap (which was about the size of 2 tennis courts, and at least a high as a house) was like a bog, in both senses of the word. I gingerly stepped onto what looked like firm crusty ground and found myself sinking Indiana Jones style. I left that side of the heap in favour for the dryer yet nettle covered older section, where upon I got stung to death, but didn't run the risk of meeting an unpleasant end drowning in dung. What could be nicer than spending an hour digging on the world’s largest pile of horse poo on a sunny evening in June?

Despite the rather unpleasant nature of the task I am now the proud owner of 12 sacks of lovely crumbly rotted manure for the princely sum of £0. I was only going to get a few sacks, but once I was there, and had found the ideal digging spot I kept filling sacks thinking oh well, I've started so I may as well finish.

The son of the stable lady drove me over the fields to the dung heap, and helped me stack the sacks in my car boot so I gave him a fiver for his troubles. A small price to pay for what would have cost me the best part of £100 at B&Q.


Blogger Tracy said...

As you know I am a horse-poo specialist. All riding stables will let you take their muck away as you are doing them a huge favour. Because of EEC legislation to do with toxic waste and methane levels, muck heaps have to be disposed of in a 'proper' way and it's very expensive. Most stables will no longer allow the use of straw for bedding as it takes up more space on the heap. It actually makes better manure though. The stuff from the bottom is by far the best as it is well rotted. Good luck with the gardening:) send food when it's ready!!!

4:52 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Also - the smell of horse manure is wonderful. Horse poo isn't the slightest bit offensive - unlike dog poo or cat poo. It's on account of the fact that horses are vegetarians!!! I get it on my hands all the time and it's no bother!!!

4:54 AM  
Blogger Liv said...

I must agree that horse poo is definitely a less offensive smell than other types of poo!

I am filled with admiration for your a) resourcefulness b) thriftiness but mainly c) your complete lack of laziness! It has taken us a month to just clear the garden of head high overgrown plants and 'meadow style' grass, never mind going to dig our own manure.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

I confess that I too, like the smell of horse poo. Not that I want to wear the scent mind you, but it does remind me of childhood!

2:28 PM  

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