fallen leaves as mulch

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Pati Rock Wrote:

Piling new leaves on can rob the soil of nitrogen. You really need t rot the leaves into leaf mould for a year to make it beneficial
-- DJBrenton
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The problem with this is that you need to remove the leaves as soon as the bulbs begin to sprout. Leaves make wonderful insulation. My father grew roses in Cleveland Ohio and used leaves to protect the plants from winter freezing.
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Phisherman wrote:

It seems like this approach doesn't save much labor. Why not compost the leaves this season and use them for insulation the next. The advantage is that by leaving the compost in place, you are amending the soil and gaining an advantage from the original leaves.
I think the compost is a more efficient insulator than dry unchopped leaves. There may be a case for using leaves to bury fig trees, since that would take a huge amount of compost, but spreading compost on the garden and around trees makes a lot of sense.
My experience with leaves (like maple) is that they tend to mat up if not shredded. They do not compost well, even after sitting in a pile for a year.
I also agree with the comment on nitrogen being removed during the composting process, so I would not put unprocessed leaves on the garden, just for that reason alone.
Sherwin D.
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