Gardening with the Moon: Using Prep 500 – Horn Manure

  • Timing – The stirring should be done in the afternoon or early evening, on a Root day when the Earth is breathing IN

As that may sound like complete gobbledygook it’s a good idea to do your first stirring after you’ve read the blog on Moon Cycles and got some idea of what I’m talking about. When you feel you know roughly what you’re doing have a go at your first 500 stirring. The garden will do better if you give the soil attention first – like in all organic practice, good soil makes good plants – so do the 500 first for the soil and the 501 for the plants later.

Look at your Star Calendar to find the right day to do the stirring.

NB – the day before, make a plan of how you are going to go round the garden spraying, especially while you’re new to this.

You need …
  • Prep 500, horn manure.
  • Prep 507, valerian juice; it’s one of the compost preps but you use it here, with the 500 to help warm up the soil and encourage earthworms.
  • a non-metallic bucket. Wood is very nice but very expensive, a plastic bucket from the household shop will do perfectly well; the point is to get the preparations on the land. Metal doesn’t seem to work so well in most people’s experience.
    • You want a smooth-sided bucket with no ridges in the bottom as they make the stirring difficult. The bottom should preferably be slightly smaller diameter than the top so the sides slope upwards and outwards. This makes getting a vortex easier.
  • a wooden stirring stick; I use a length of broom-handle about two foot long.
  • A small pot (plastic is fine, like a big ice-cream tub) that holds about 2 litres and that you can put the end of the stirring stick into to mash up the preparation before it goes in the bucket.
  • a 6-8 inch wide wall-papering or plastering brush – it needs to be wide and with fairly soft bristles that will absorb the water. And it must be NEW, not one you’ve ever used for painting or plastering! – from your local DIY shop and keep it, along with the bucket and stick only for stirring.
  • Water – ¾ of the household bucket will be quite enough for most gardens. Use rain or pond water, not tap water with all the “stuff” in it like chlorine and fluorine. If you have to use tap water leave it in an open-topped container in the sunlight for the day before you want to stir, so the chemicals can evaporate off. This biodynamic stuff needs a bit of planning as you can see!

NB – Try not to buy bottled water, it’s best from the land where you live. Rainwater is always good and has come direct to your land from the clouds J.


  • Warm the water up to blood temperature.
    • Put about a quarter of the water into a saucepan and boil it up, then pour that into the rest of the bucket.
    • Test for temperature by putting your elbow into the bucket – like mother did to test the bath water for baby. If it’s comfortable to your elbow it will be comfortable for the plants too.
    • Put a half a litre, a pint, into the small plastic pot
    • Take the required amount of 500, horn manure – use a thumb-joint’s worth in three-quarters of a bucket of water for the average town garden – from its storage jar and crumble it into the small pot, crush it with the stick so it begins to dissolve.
    • When it’s fairly well mixed pour the contents of the small pot into the bucket of warm water and rinse the pot in the bucket so you don’t leave any in the pot.
    • Decide with your friend(s) how long you are going to stir each go; Paul and I do ten minutes then swap over, so it’s ten minutes on, ten minutes off and we each get three goes at stirring in the hour.
    • Note the time on the clock !!! Begin stirring.
    • 15 minutes before the hour is up – after ¾ of an hour stirring – put about 10 drops of prep 507 (Valerian) into the mix and continue stirring until the hour is up.
    • Walk around your garden – use the plan so you don’t miss anywhere. You put the 500 on all the soil in your garden – flower beds, veg beds, lawn, fruit trees/orchard, fruit beds, rockeries, bog garden, everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you splash the plants too.
    • Don’t save any left over in the bucket, it goes off after a couple of hours and is no good any more. You may find you’ve enough to go round twice, or that some beds can get two helpings. But don’t save it, you have to make it fresh each time.

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