Re: Peat Moss Substitute? - Shredding leaves

snipped-for-privacy@aol.com writes:

Recently I purchased a Black & Decker electric blower/vacuum/mulcher which I saw advertised on one of those infomercials. I had a blower/vacuum attachment for my Ryobi already but it only vacuumed, not mulched. Because I have a huge evergreen magnolia that drops dead leaves continuously all year, I've needed to do something. I have cleaned up literally wheelbarrows full of leaves all year. (Think October all year long!) They are so diligent about falling that I cannot even mow a single strip without more leaves being on what I just mowed before I turn to go back up the next strip.
I bought it on the 4th and have already shredded several wheelbarrows full (shredded/mulched volume). As far as I'm concerned, this is the only way to go with leaves and wish I'd done it in 1999 when I bought this house; I might actually have lawn under the tree if I had. The lawnmower just cannot keep up with them and the bag needs to be emptied every couple of sweeps, if it even makes it two.
A neighbor up the street has a huge oak tree. I understand that oak leaves are excellent for the garden (they sure added to the horse manure I got for three years) and have wanted to get some from them. Now, this fall, I can realistically get them . . . and will ask. They will likely gleefully had me the end of the electric cord.<g>
My recommendation for the leaves is to definitely mulch/shred them if you have a way of doing it. You can put them directly on your plants (without them blowing away if they are dry) as mulch or in the compost.
This has worked so well, I'm seriously considering using it for the straw in the chicken house; it will work into the soil more quickly, surely, though the straw may be too long. One thing for sure, not tried, not known. :-)
Good luck with your project.
Glenna

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snipped-for-privacy@noSpam.com writes:

Unfortunately, I accidently got sawdust last year and it made it a very bad garden year (compared to others). I'll never, ever, ever let that happen again! It was worsened by putting it on after the rototilling. Major mistake.
Organic is usually very, very good. Nothing beats the horse manure (or steer, etc.) for helping the soil become excellent. It attracts the earthworms like it was a huge dessert tray . . . they and their buddies do the work while we go on about our business. What a deal!
Glenna
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writes:

I think the shredder/mulcher is a good idea. I can get a very large amount of leaves each fall and shredded they should be very easy to handle and apply to my garden. Did I read somewhere that leaves change the ph of the soil? I'm wondering if adding lime with the shredded leaves is necessary???
Thanks again for the advise.
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au contraire, in most cases leaves make a nearly neutral compost, and they mellow acidic soils. That's why many, including me, use it to start seedlings.
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