it is that time of year again..... and since i live at the end of a
cul-de-sac....i get covered with everyone's leaves.....
since i like to veggie garden.... what is the best way to store the shredded
tree leaves that i get from my yard.... the garden is too wet to dig them
in.... can i rototil them in next spring ?? should i be adding anything to
them (ie: fertilizer) or just let them winter over ??
You can simply gather them into a pile and leave them all winter. If you
want to contain them, a simple way is to get a length of cheap wire fence
material and make a cylinder by tying the ends together. Put the leaves in
the wire bin. Next year you can rototil them into the garden. They may
need more time than the winter to decompose. I generally alternate piles,
tilling in the older pile.
firstname.lastname@example.org (WARRENRN1) wrote in message
They are the best possible amendment for your clay soil (the one that
will improve texture the most). They will compost a lot over winter if
you treat them right, even if you are in a cold winter area. The
freezing and thawing helps break them. And here is how you treat them
1) shred them, if at all possible.
2) make sure they are wet throughout. That may involve turning them in
the bin or pouring some water into the bag and shaking, depending on
your mode of storage. In my pile (Michigan) top leaves are usually
rotten by May, but underneath I will find strata of leaves dry and
virtually intact. If you do not have a rodent problem, like I do, it
is easiest to put them down on the vegetable beds, and then next May
plant through them.
3) give them a bit of green stuff and coarsely mix. I have used grass
clippings, end-of-season vegetable plants (shredded), urea and manure.
No big difference, except that grass clippings may have seeds (though
not if you mow in late september, and them mow again in late october
and use those clipping), and discarded vegetables usually result in
dozens of small tomato plants the next year.
If their composting is behind, put them under large plants (like
tomatoes). They will be done composting by the end of next summer.
Leaf mold makes the best greens in my experience, lettuce or arugula
or chard or collard.
On 29 Oct 2003 14:08:43 GMT, email@example.com (WARRENRN1) wrote:
Make sure they are shredded, then pile them. They will compost
quickly in the springtime if the winter isn't too harsh. If 2 feet of
snow is on the ground from November to April (like what happened last
year around my place ), then it might go a lot more slowly.
There is nothing worse than trying to dig under a foot thick layer of
matted UN-shredded leaves in spring,. Thick layers of matted leaves
will refuse to compost in the spring and well into summer, even if dug
under; it's the equivalent of trying to compost a solid phone book.
Shredding is key.
I agree shredding is the key. I have a bag of wet unshredded leaves and
that havent even started to changed colour.
However my other bag which I shreded with garden shear (unfortunatly
dont have a shredder) and wetted has already started to turn into a
brown/blackish color after only 3 weeks.
posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
that's how we do ours and leave some on the yard, especially if there
are grass seeds in them, then the next bunch without the seed, we put
on the garden. last fall i did fill one large black plastic bag with
the shreded leaves and some soil and wet it down some as i filled it
with the shredded leaves and green trimmings from the garden and tied
it closed and once a week about i turned it over a few times to areate
it and this summer i had some prety good looking soil! i had an area
that i did not plan on planting for a while and poured it on there to
finish decaying. looking good.
I had a pile of non-shreded leaves last year that composted quite
nicely. However, I did add nitrogen to get a good C/N ratio and
occasionally dumped rain water on it. If you have a compacted wet bag
of leaves, that's not going to compost fast at all because you need
oxygen. I bet if you dumped it out on the ground, and stirred it up
with a pitchfork, it'd start decomposing soon enough.
I mow my fall leaves, as well as shrub trimmings and any other vegatative yard
debris with the exception of larger diameter tree branches. Dump into a leaf
pile and if handy, add a little lawn fertilizer and/or limestone and let it
cook. I *might* turn the pile twice. Doesn't seem to matter whether I do or
not, between the natural composting action and the worms the pile always breaks
Each spring I have more black gold than I know what to do with. I spread as
much as possible on the lawn, under shrubs and around plants & vegetables.
There's a chipper shredder in my shed but I can't handle it, so I'm running the
mower which shreds nicely. I empty the bag around every plant I have for
mulch. There's a little grass getting mowed and green with the brown is good.
When everything is mulched, I will dump into a big wire bin where I contribute
my kitchen garbage. Someday I'm going to have some real compost bins, but for
now I just have these big wire circles. I cut a little door at the bottom and
shovel good stuff out when I need it. Even if it isn't nice crumbly compost
yet it will do.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Allview) wrote in message
Marilyn, you sound like me.. i finally gave my son my big
chipper/shredder and only use the ole snapper to shred. i have moved
since then. where i am now, there is a huge tree a bit down south of
us that can nearly sufficate my pereniels this time of year with those
huge leaves! i took some heavy guage wire and fastened two lengths of
it to the end of a plastic covered wire stake and made me a leaf
picker-upper to take them out of the herb and flower beds where they
were smothering the plants and put them in a bag to be spread on the
lawn to be shredded, then will mulch around the plants with them and
what is left, bag up for compost.
One method of shredding that I saw on Gardening by the Yard is to dump
your leaves into a large trash can, then use a string trimmer to shred
'em up. Wear eye protection, of course, and a mask to protect
yourself from flying debris.
I spent the weekend shredding my leaves with a blower/vac. (I don't
have a string trimmer.) Funny, the Chinese Hackberry leaves were a
bit difficult to shred, retaining much of their original form even
after being run through my blower/vac. The Maple leaves, however,
easily crumbled into fine particles.
Now leaf me alone. :}
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