What to do with all the leaves?

In the 70s people used to burn them in my hometown, I remember my dad doing it but it was noticed that's not really good idea when the flaming leaves get on houses, dry bushes, etc. And the city created a law banning it
I'm an idiot. I put the front leaves in a plastic bag. I forgot you aren't supposed to do that anymore. They have biodegradable bags now you use. I assume the hardware store down the street has some.
There were a billion leaves in the backyard and I did put those where the tomato plants were. I guess I should empty the plastic bag back there too. But there are so many leaves I don't think they will decompose. I should bury them?
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Gus Overton wrote:

Compost them. Any large container will do, or make a heap, perhaps cover initially if they tend to blow around. Some dampness will speed the process.
--
David

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On 11/26/2014 5:28 PM, David Hare-Scott wrote:

I mulch the beds that do not have ground cover and even some that have frost-sensitive ground cover. I add them to my compost pile, which is actually leafmold because there is little other than leaves. I pile them on my patio and on the paths through my garden. And I fill the garden waste bin for the county's composting program. Most of the leaves are from my ash tree, which is the last to drop its leaves and the first to get new leaves. By the time I have cleared the last pile from the patio and paths, the tree is already fully in leaf.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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On Wednesday, November 26, 2014 5:28:18 PM UTC-8, David Hare-Scott wrote:


David is much more virtuous than I re: leaves. (We garden on opposite sides of the same mountain in So Calif, but different micro-climates.)
I don't have many deciduous trees, so am not bothered much by shedding and don't have enough leaves to bother composting like I used to do -- kitchen scraps and all. Now I turn it all over to the City, which rewards us with quarterly compost giveaways.
The cosmetic aspect is what bugs me, frivolous though it may be. I don't l ike my careful garden plots cluttered with yellowing leaf litter. Tired of raking, I cover mess with small-bore mulch. And repeat. How high will th is plateau eventually rise? Stay tuned <G>
HB
we garden on two sides of the same mountain in So. Cal. but different micro -climates.)
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Gus Overton wrote:

On a windy morning I mowed my leaves with mulching blades and they blew away.
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Yeah we saw the pictures of your place. Let some trees grow and come back in 30 years.
--
Dan Espen

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Nope, way too much work.
My leaf pile is as big as a van. It's behind some bushes.
Takes one to 2 years to turn back into dirt. I screen about half the pile each year.
--
Dan Espen

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burying them will help them break down faster if you have worms and moisture.
there is very little reason to burn, but for some reason people think it is a good thing to do.
i use leaves to smother areas i hope to replant later with something else. right now i have a start on a replacement strawberry patch that should be ready in a year or two. i don't think i'll be able to get any more leaves down this season, but who knows -- the weather may change and we get some warm days and i can end up with more leaves to put down.
songbird
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"Love Is the Drug". (Ferry said the song came to him while kicking the leaves during a walk through Hyde Park.)
What is with the eyepatch, and were many stewardesses backup singers in late 70s?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n3OepDn5GU

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On 11/26/2014 11:17 PM, songbird wrote:

Hi Songbird,
I have a lot of grass to kill in my garden over the winter. How big a pile of leaves would I need to use? Do I water them down to keep them from blowing away? Will it kill the seeds too?
-T
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wrote:

Not if you set fire to the pile.

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Todd wrote: ...

different species of grasses have different abilities and reserves for surviving being smothered. generally, those with larger roots and stolons will be tougher to smother and may take several years.
a few months through a winter when the plant may be somewhat dormant anyways is unlikely to accomplish much for the tougher sorts.
if you have fairly thin rooted grasses and smaller plants then you may be able to smother them, but i think it does take longer than a few months. depends upon moisture, temps, worms, pill bugs, fungi, etc.
it will not "kill" grass seeds, but it may prevent them from sprouting long enough that they can rot and/or be eaten by other critters.
i use overlapping chunks of cardboard or other compostable papers and then pile the leaves on top. wetting them down does keep them more in place, but here i started with fairly wet leaves anyways and the rains came. i don't care if they move around anyways. about a foot thick.
getting rid of the grasses can be either raked or dug up in chunks.
for an established garden i'll dig a fairly deep hole and put the chunks of grasses and roots down in the bottom (turning them root side up). if there are a lot of seeds on the surface i'll scrape them into the hole too and then bury that all deeply enough that it is hard for anything to regrow or sprout. absolutely no need for weed killers or chemicals to prevent seeds from sprouting.
mulch over the area will help prevent any stray seeds from having an easy time growing, and those that do sprout and grow will often be easier to remove because they are growing in the mulch and not in the dirt underneath if you can catch them early enough.
do not use leaves sucked up by lawnmowers as they often include weed seeds too. if you do have this sort of material available you can hot compost it to help reduce the seed count, but some species are able to even survive that too... i don't hot compost anything here at the moment. the worm bins get things i harvest after i dry them out completely and they don't regrow from that treatment ever. :)
songbird
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On 11/28/2014 05:28 PM, songbird wrote:

Thank you!
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Todd wrote:

A lot.
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Right, if I set fire to the leaves, I loose my fence and pay a pretty big fine.
Such is life in the suburbs.
--
Dan Espen

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Peter Jason wrote:

Why waste a resource and pollute the air?
--
David

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On 11/26/2014 7:42 PM, Gus Overton wrote:

They make wonderful mulch to protect delicate plants in winter and to keep weeds down in shrub/flower beds. They are especially good mulch for acid-loving shrubs like azalea and rhododendron. I pile then into my flower beds in fall, just as flowers have been hit by frost and no longer showing live foliage....leaving them piled around the more delicate perennials helps prevent winter damage and when the leaves become wet and pack down, they do a great job of stopping weed growth in spring. By summer, they pretty much break down into nourishment for the plants....or turn them onto a compost pile to build good dirt.
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wrote:

In the County where I live burning leaves is illegal, and carries a very stiff fine; $15,000.00 Can't burn trash, treated scrap lumber and many other combustables... won't be long all wood stoves will be banned. http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/58519.html
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On 11/30/2014 1:24 PM, Brooklyn1 wrote:

I live in a small Iowa village and it is perfectly legal to burn your leaves. In fact, we attempted to burn leaves yesterday but they were still a bit wet so most of them did not burn. My neighbor just put in a high dollar outdoor wood stove that is a hot water system to heat his home and his shop. He only needs to put additional wood in it every 4 to 5 days. It also has a 500 gallon water tank above the fire pit and two pumps that circulate the water to the house and/or shop when called by one or both of the thermostats.
It is a pretty high tech outfit but on the downside it cost $8,000 plus. :-(
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Once upon a time on usenet IGot2P wrote:

IMO it would have made a lot more sense to have used that amount of money to install efficient heat pump based heating (which could also act as AC if needed).
--
Shaun.

"Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
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