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1036Re: [pfaf] shredded leaves

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  • Griselda
    Dec 22, 2005
      Re: [pfaf] shredded leaves I have been reading about this recently.

      The advice given about using tree leaves seems to be that it is best to compost them separately from other material, because it takes at least 1 and maybe 2 years for them to break down.  They need nitrogen to decompose, so if you put them on the soil to rot down (maybe also using them as a mulch during that time), they will take nitrogen from the soil and thus other plants in that area would suffer from not enough nitrogen.  

      So, you can use the tree leaves to mulch areas where you don’t want anything else to grow – for instance to suppress weeds - or you can gather them into piles or put them into bags to rot down into what is then called ‘leaf mould’.     That is lovely dark crumbly sweet compost, and you can use it to mulch or to help enrich soils or to help with soil structure.  But you will have to wait 2 or 3 years for the leaf mould.  (I understand that one way to help the decomposition process is to pee on the leaves as that adds nitrogen).  :-)  

      griselda



      Thanks for your answer. however I'm getting different oppinions, yes and no!

      yes : very good to protect soil, save watter, and provide nutrients.

      no: Leaves alone do not work well because they are high in carbon and low in nitrogen, they will not decompose and they will not do good. solution add nitrogen rich materials to the leaves.

      my experience (not much I may add this is the first year I'm doing this and it is not over yet)

      I put shredded leaves about 4 to 6 inches thick, If I move the top layer of leaves they are very humid and they are getting very black thick material  my guess is that they are decomposing, however I added the leaves arround 1.5 month ago and I will not see the real effects in about 4 more month. I will add some nitrogen rich matterials to the leaves to make sure the leaves decompose in time for spring.

      any comments?

       

      Oscar

       



       

      From: "TradingPostPaul" <tradingpost@...>
      Reply-To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
      To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [pfaf] shredded leaves
      Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 19:56:33 -0700


      Don't think so. Leaves alone are a high carbon-low nitrogen material and need nitrogen-rich matter to decompose fully without robbing your soil of nitrogen your plants need. Then it'll be good for the soil and good for the plants. There are several good sources you can use such as chicken manure, alfalfa meal, bone meal, blood meal etc. Personally I'd compost the mixture over the winter to preserve as much of the nutrients as possible, and then work it into the top six inches of the garden and mulch after that.

      paul, tradingpost@...
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Soilmakers/
      ---------------

      The outstanding scientific discovery of the twentieth century is not television, or radio, but rather the complexity of the land organism. Only those who know the most about it can appreciate how little we know about it.
         - Aldo Leopold in  Round River, 1933
      *********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********

      On 12/21/2005 at 4:48 PM Now wrote:

      >yes
      >
      >Oscar Pena <troya_1970@...> wrote:       
      >Hi All,
      >   
      >  I've placed about 3 to 4 inches of shredded leaves in my garden area as
      >per recommendation from a friend, he told me that they will be  a great
      >fertilizer and also will prevent unwanted weeds to grow. When I see under
      >the leaves they look that they are very dark and decomposing also very wet
      >(we are in the middle of the winter).
      >  My garden is a new garden and I planted al perennial bulbs last October.
      >Hoping they will grow in spring.
      >   
      >  So my question is
      >  do you think it will be good for my garden?
      >  was my friend correct or not?
      >   




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