Horse Manure For Tomatoes: The Benefits

It’s a well-known fact that tomatoes enjoy rich and moist soil, and one of the best ways to ensure your plants are getting enough nutrients is by adding organic compost, such as manure, into the mix.

Aside from common manure compost such as cow and chicken, you might be considering getting horse manure for your tomato plants. This can be a good thing, and if you add horse manure tomatoes can benefit from it.

Is Horse Manure a Good Fertilizer?

horse manure tomatoes

Manure, in general, is good for plants since it tends to have nutrients that are beneficial for their growth. Horse manure is no exception, especially when it comes to feeding nutrient-hungry tomatoes.

Horse manure is considered a good fertilizer for tomatoes and crops. It’s milder and tends to not burn your plants as much, contains more nutrients, and has a softer texture, which can come in handy when you need to dig up the soil later on. Plus, horse manure is readily available in most commercial stores and doesn’t cost that much.

In comparison, cow manure tends to harden and make digging difficult, while chicken manure has high concentrations of nitrogen which can burn your plants.

Horse poop contains all the essential nutrients to support tomato plant growth in organic form. Applied constantly, it can be instrumental in harvesting healthy, big, and juicy tomatoes when the time is right. However, you should only apply horse manure when it’s aged or composted, as putting on fresh horse manure can damage the tomato plants’ delicate roots and cause fertilizer burn.

Is Horse Manure Safe for Tomatoes?

horse manure tomatoes

While it’s true that horse poop is generally milder and has a lower chance of ‘burning’ your vegetables, it’s better to be safe and compost it first.

Horse manure is safe for tomatoes when it has spent enough time in the compost bin. You can ‘age’ it first, or allow it to dry for a month or two to lower nitrogen levels and eliminate weed seeds. Once it has spent some time in the compost pile, horse manure is as safe as any other organic fertilizer.

It’s recommended that you compost horse manure with organic materials such as tree clippings, straw, leaves, and grass. Keep the pile damp and turn it over occasionally so everything breaks down into a plant-optimized mix of essential nutrients. You can also add heat to kill weed seeds so they won’t spring up in your tomato plants later on.

How to Apply Horse Manure to Tomato Plants

horse manure tomatoes

Aged or composted horse manure may be applied when starting new tomatoes or to supplement their growth.

Before planting tomato seeds or starts, you should amend your soil media with a generous amount of horse manure (up to a third of the soil volume). You can mix it up or work it into 12 inches of the planting area before putting in your tomato seeds or seedlings.

As a supplemental fertilizer, horse manure may be applied on top of the soil and worked at around 2 to 4 inches. As for the timing, it’s not recommended that you fertilize your tomato plants until they start to produce buds.

Horse manure in tomatoes works best when used in conjunction with other organic materials. It’s worth noting that horse poop contains more nitrogen than phosphorus and potassium, which means that you may need to supplement with another fertilizer.

Related Article: Does Horse Manure Make Good Fertilizer?