Anyone using raked up leaves for a mulch layer?

Discussion in 'Organics' started by Thai_Lights, Jan 13, 2018.

  1.  
    Thai_Lights

    Thai_Lights Well-Known Member

    Have a few garbage bags of leaves from the spring time i was going to use to make leaf litter but...... since hay is a MFer to find where im at i waa thinking of using my plum tree leaves. Was wondering what you guys think about that and what do you guys use?
     
  2.  
    Terps

    Terps Well-Known Member

    Dont do it. Compost it first. Right now who knows what kinda nasty illness's and bugs could be in it. White flies and mites live on leaves.
     
  3.  
    youraveragehorticulturist

    youraveragehorticulturist Well-Known Member

    Man, I'm sooo close to doing it, but I'm a little afraid to take the plunge!



    This guy says leaves from your yard have nutrient value similar to kelp meal.



    In this video, dude tries to talk you out of using compost tea. But in his experiment, compost tea (made from grass/tree leaf compost) had more cal/mag than an All in One 20-20-20 chemical fertiliser. So if there is nothing else in there, there is Calcium and Magnesium in those tree leaves. Mulch plus extra important nutrients sounds great!

    I use leaves in my compost pile, I use that compost to build soil and top dress pots. I'm almost using the leaves anyway, right?

    But like Terps mentioned, I'm worried about introducing new problems to the garden.

    Maybe we could sprinkle some Neem Meal and Diatomacious Earth into the leaves to ease our minds?
     
    dubekoms likes this.
  4.  
    Thai_Lights

    Thai_Lights Well-Known Member

    I used a living mulch last run and want to try something new. Any ideas?
     
  5.  
    dubekoms

    dubekoms Well-Known Member

    I would shred them up first. If you're worried about pests sprinkle some neem meal on top. I've tried doing it outside but the wind usually blows them away, should work fine indoors plus its free!
     
  6.  
    Thai_Lights

    Thai_Lights Well-Known Member

    The temp is in the negatives and the leaves have been sitting in a garbage bag..... can bugs survive that?
     
  7.  
    ShLUbY

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    i use leaves as mulch in my vegetable garden, and i also use them in my worm bin. i would shred them first. and i mean really, if you wanted to sterilize them, you could bake them in the oven at like 150-180 deg for an hour or two and that would probably kill pretty much anything in them. if they've been in paper garbage bags, i hope they were completely dry, otherwise they'll be all kinds of nasty. most likely!
     
  8.  
    Thai_Lights

    Thai_Lights Well-Known Member

    No they are in plastic garbage bags in my shed.
     
  9.  
    Uncle Reefer

    Uncle Reefer Well-Known Member

    I use waste leaves and stems but I pass them through my worms first. That bananas eggshells and seashells as well. The plants don't see it till the worms are done with it and is screened through a 1/4 inch screen. Mulch is good if light is hitting the surface of your soil but if your plants have filled in enough to completely shade the dirt then you are better without.
     
  10.  
    ShLUbY

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    i would say that they are no bueno. start a worm bin with the better ones

    what you should be doing with all those leaves, is mulching them all with your lawn mower, catch them in the bagger if you have one or rake them up, and then put them all in a giant pile in your yard. soak them down really well or let the rain soak them, and then cover them loosely with a tarp. in time, they will break down into beautiful compost from the bottom up. full of castings and insect frass. i do this every year and it's a shame to see all the leaves at the curb in the fall :(

    plastic garbage bags are the worst choice for storing something like that. paper lawn bags would have been better. but building a pure leaf compost pile is far and away the best option
     
  11.  
    Thai_Lights

    Thai_Lights Well-Known Member

    I have been moistening the leaves. Maybe ill just throw them in thr compost bin. Thanks brother.
     
  12.  
    ShLUbY

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    if it's an actual "bin" like a "tumbler" i would strongly advise not doing that. in my experience, those things are crap for making good compost. a pile on the ground is 1000% better
     
  13.  
    Thai_Lights

    Thai_Lights Well-Known Member

    Not a tumbler no its just a stand alone conposter. A pile on the ground surrounded by some metal wire? Saw a few people doing it like that.
     
  14.  
    ShLUbY

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    no metal wire needed. just make a pile, wet it down, and lightly cover it with a tarp. organism will come to the pile, and in time, it will be made into compost
     
  15.  
    Thai_Lights

    Thai_Lights Well-Known Member

    Do i need to turn it?
     
    thumper60 likes this.
  16.  
    ShLUbY

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    nope! just let it happen. it's not a quick thing by any means. but the results will be beautiful black, rich compost
     
  17.  
    Thai_Lights

    Thai_Lights Well-Known Member

    What do tou use for mulch indoors?
     
  18.  
    youraveragehorticulturist

    youraveragehorticulturist Well-Known Member

    I've used coco-coir, coco chips, chopped up leaves from past harvests, EWC, my compost, bagged mushroom compost. They worked OK.

    Compost is good, but it doesn't really function like mulch too long. Now I want to use leaves.

    What's the difference between leaves for mulch, and leaf mold? One just sat on the ground longer?
     
  19.  
    youraveragehorticulturist

    youraveragehorticulturist Well-Known Member

    In "Advanced Cultivation" somebody started a thread about using fiber glass insulation in a flood table for hydro.

    Could you use a "sheet" or "layer" of Fiber Glass Pipe Wrap, or some kind of un-backed insulation on top of your dirt?
    Similar to rock-wool, but like a wet blanket on top of your pot?

    Edit:
    Watching the video, dude used cotton "batting," like quilt supplies. Not fiberglass. This seems like way less a pain in the ass.

    Additionally, I've seen small bales of Alfalfa Straw at the feed store. If straw is good mulch, and alfalfa is good for weeds, is alfalfa straw good for mulch?
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  20.  
    thumper60

    thumper60 Well-Known Member

    I use wire an turn mine 10 times faster then just sitting there,the wire allows for stacking an better air flow
     

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