Q: Is it safe to use horse manure in large garden? I’m retiring and have plenty of land to plant vegetables to give to my neighbors. I will be getting the manure from a local stable.
A: I admire your generous nature but you have to be absolutely sure the horse pasture has not been treated with herbicide. There are several products available that control pasture weeds and are safe for horses to consume. But some of the chemicals can pass through a horse and remain in its manure for up to a year. If you use this contaminated manure on your garden, you can severely damage your plants, particularly your tomatoes. I have tips on how to test manure for the presence of herbicides at bit.ly/GAmanuretest.