BAGS OF LEAVES

I have big bags of whole leaves just laying there to put in my garden next spring. Should i had water to them. I'm in wisconsin where it gets cold this winter.Will they rot good enough just laying there can anyone help make it better.Any advice would be great.I put a few small holes in the bags Thank you
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Romy Beeck wrote:

Take them out of the bags, and spread them over your vegetable garden. Run over them with the lawn mower to chop them up. Cover with manure. If you have a tiller, go ahead and till it. Consider covering with a tarp. When the ground unthaws, and is no longer wet, till in some more manure. By the time you start planting your tomato and pepper starts, they'll be decomposed, and contributing to the soil. Unless those leaves get mixed with some soil, they're not going to decompose much at all in or out of the bags.
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Warren H.

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Romy Beeck said:

I would suggest that you shred them up somehow and till them in this fall, rather than wait until spring. You could spread them out where you plan to till them in and use a lawnmower.
If you plant to use them as mulch, it would be best to shred and store them in heavy plastic bags DRY. (We do this every fall.) Shredded leaves are also easier to compost. Feeding them through a lawnmower can work. Running a string trimmer up and down through a garbage can of leaves has sometimes been suggested. There are leaf vacuums that shred, and there are stand-alone electric leaf shredders. (At the Kiewicz place, we scrounge bags of leaves from the neighborhood, pour them out, suck them up with a leaf vacuum and direct the output into a leaf shredder. And yes, all that work is worth it -- though I wish you could just BUY shredded, compressed leaves like you can Canadian peat.)
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Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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Do you rake them out of your flower beds, if you have them? I debate whether to rake them out, shred them, then put them back in. Sometimes that's just what I do. The earthworms are in mass abundance in my flower beds, and I'm certain it's due to their feast of shredded leaves. The topsoil is crumbly earthworm castings, and if you brush it aside, there are many happy worms under there!
I just wonder if I should leave the whole leaves in the beds, but sometimes they smother everything that stays evergreen (eg., foxglove, sweet william, campanula), and it ends up being a slimy mess come springtime. I question my methods every year at this time, so just wondered what others might do.
Mary Ellen
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I am in Wisconsin. we used bag of leaves on the rose bed as insulation. next spring I haul them to a sunny spot, punch holes in the bag and run water in. I stack them up and let them marinate during the summer. by fall they are mostly broken down and can be dug in for compost. Ingrid

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snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.xx.com wrote in

Do I understand correctly that you leave the leaves in the bag and place the filled bags around your plants? Do you do anything else to protect the plant at ground level?
Jim Zone 6, Niagara
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yes, in winter. no, didnt do anything else and it really didnt work all that well either. I think planting very deep, cutting them back and mounding with dirt and then putting the bags of leaves on for insulation works a lot better. Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List http://puregold.aquaria.net / www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unfortunately, I receive no money, gifts, discounts or other compensation for all the damn work I do, nor for any of the endorsements or recommendations I make.
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wrote:

By the time all the leaves rot inside the bag (about 2-3 YEARS from now), other plants will have broken though the plastic. The mess of roots and dirt mixed with plastic will be a pain to separate. Shred the leaves and leave them on the garden, minus the bag.
Dan
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I don't necessarily have a milestone. For years, I've gathered 150-200 sacks of leaves every fall and use a chipper shredder to grind them down and let them sit till late spring, early summer. Good leaf mold. A year ago I started a landscaping company and I ran out of storage space as I carry inventory of trees, shrubs and perennials. Last December, the guy who introduced me to composting 11 years ago and who was a major player in what I'm doing today, bought the house next door. He had it moved off the lot in March and the empty is a vicorty garden/native plant/pond site "green" area. I collect leaves and clippings throughout the year and give him a good amount. Last Sunday we went out and collected 120 bags and shredded them down to a 10' wide and 4' tall mound. Would have gone today but I had a presentation and we had our first rain in 2 months. We'll go another 2 times and that will do for fall. I'm fortunate that he has some vacant land. Now, if I could just find a cheap warehouse....
J. Kolenovsky
Romy Beeck wrote:

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Celestial Habitats by J. Kolenovsky
2003 Honorable Mention Award, Keep Houston Beautiful
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