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How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  llama momma on 11/21/2013, 5:35 pm

Finished collecting leaves and all the other ingredients for this season. 108 bags of leaves. This is about 40 bags less than last year.   Have (2)  six by eight foot leaf corrals still holding nearly three foot tall compressed leaves and leaf mold from last year.  Should be done with massive leaf collection for awhile.  Now it's time to fill five wooden pallet heaps. Let the fun and calorie burn begin.
Wink

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 11/21/2013, 5:42 pm

So, am I the only one who drives through town and thinks I should have a leaf rake and bags in the car?!!!!

We are sick puppies, LOL!

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  llama momma on 11/21/2013, 5:56 pm

Hah, sick puppies for sure!
And I feel like such a dork on the side of the road, loading up pumpkins and corn stalks from the village display.  They agreed to make big discarded heap piles just for little ol' me to come and collect to make  compost.  This year I was asked if I wanted to sell my compost in one of the little village stores.  But since I make it all by hand from individual shovel-fulls and personal sweat, didn't think I could make it work to have enough extra for selling.   
Sad

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 11/21/2013, 6:54 pm

How could they even think you would part with even  a shovel full of your sweet little "babies" i.e. your compost?!  LOL!!!

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  bnoles on 11/21/2013, 9:35 pm

@llama momma wrote:Finished collecting leaves and all the other ingredients for this season. 108 bags of leaves. This is about 40 bags less than last year.   Have (2)  six by eight foot leaf corrals still holding nearly three foot tall compressed leaves and leaf mold from last year.  Should be done with massive leaf collection for awhile.  Now it's time to fill five wooden pallet heaps. Let the fun and calorie burn begin.
Wink
oh oh.... I see you are at it again  

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  slimbolen99 on 11/21/2013, 10:01 pm

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:So, am I the only one who drives through town and thinks I should have a leaf rake and bags in the car?!!!!

We are sick puppies, LOL!
I drive around town the day of 'trash' day when the trash trucks take the compostable materials away from home owners who leave their bags on the curb.  Kinda funny, driving up and  down the block and stopping, checking out the bags, and if they're not mulched, leaving them, and if they are, loading them into the car!  Get some funny looks, that's for sure!

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  llama momma on 11/23/2013, 9:35 am

Slimbolen, maybe in time you will get some 'regulars' for your supply.
Past couple of years I dealt with strangers as they were bagging their leaves and asked to take their bags, boy they sure were happy about that.  Or knocked on doors after they were all bagged and asked to take them.  Never got a refusal.  But now I've whittled down my leaf sources to just two people who together over two years provided over two hundred and fifty bags. Makes my life easier instead of traipsing around towns ooking for bags and burning up precious fuel.

I'm grateful to my two sources, so I've given a thank you card and some little things like a roll of new bags and a couple of my garlic bulbs, or a little finished compost. Hoping it is teeny-tiny bit classy and brings goodwill for a continued win-win situation.  

And bob n??  yes I'm at it again!

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  sanderson on 11/23/2013, 2:10 pm

A written thank you card = classy.

A written thank you card + garlic or compost = MAJOR classy.

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  slimbolen99 on 11/23/2013, 3:55 pm

I guess as long as your neighbors or contributors aren't vampires, garlic would be a great idea!  To be honest, I don't ask, because it's on the curb, and when I'm collecting it (during the day), most of these folks aren't home.  Granted, making that personal connection might pay benefits in the end.  I do try and save the bags (if they weren't already damaged), and return them to their owner's front porch.  I guess I'm not one of those personable people.

I think a person could really do him or herself good to make friends with a lawn mowing business -- if they were willing to bag and deliver their lawn refuse to your door...that's one thing I'm working on this year.

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  jimmy cee on 11/23/2013, 4:06 pm

@slimbolen99 wrote:

I think a person could really do him or herself good to make friends with a lawn mowing business -- if they were willing to bag and deliver their lawn refuse to your door...that's one thing I'm working on this year.
That's a great idea, thanks for the tip.
It would be like having leaves in the fall during summer

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  plantoid on 11/23/2013, 5:07 pm

@slimbolen99 wrote:I guess as long as your neighbors or contributors aren't vampires, garlic would be a great idea!  To be honest, I don't ask, because it's on the curb, and when I'm collecting it (during the day), most of these folks aren't home.  Granted, making that personal connection might pay benefits in the end.  I do try and save the bags (if they weren't already damaged), and return them to their owner's front porch.  I guess I'm not one of those personable people.

I think a person could really do him or herself good to make friends with a lawn mowing business -- if they were willing to bag and deliver their lawn refuse to your door...that's one thing I'm working on this year.
Be careful on this one ..
If the lawns have been weed and feed treated with a hormone weed killer , the cuttings will carry the strong traces of the weed killer for several months and kill your chances of growing anything  sown /planted in compost made from these cuttings .

 My own lawn weed and feed chemical label  says no composting of cuttings for 8 months after treatment and stated that there will be residual hormone weed control for up to two years later.


Even then I'll be keeping the cuttings in a separate compost bin and do some trial sowings in a couple of plant pots with it in before I put it in my veg & flower beds.

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  yolos on 11/23/2013, 6:40 pm

@llama momma wrote:Finished collecting leaves and all the other ingredients for this season. 108 bags of leaves. This is about 40 bags less than last year.   Have (2)  six by eight foot leaf corrals still holding nearly three foot tall compressed leaves and leaf mold from last year.  Should be done with massive leaf collection for awhile.  Now it's time to fill five wooden pallet heaps. Let the fun and calorie burn begin.
Wink
LM - Do you shred your leaves in the corals?  Do you use any type of nitrogen to help break them down?  How long does it take the leaves to break down into useable compost or leaf mold.

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  llama momma on 11/23/2013, 8:26 pm

@yolos wrote:
LM - Do you shred your leaves in the corals? I started to then stopped as my little shredder was too much work. Some donated bags last year were already shredded so I put those right into the newly made compost heaps.  All the rest of the bags with whole leaves were just tossed into the corrals.  Do you use any type of nitrogen to help break them down? Inside the corrals, I do not.  My corrals are for leaf storage only.  If nitrogen was added then it would become another compost heap and I don't need more heaps. My current # of 5 pallet heaps is enough.  How long does it take the leaves to break down into useable compost or leaf mold. In the corrals the leaves went in last Dec-Jan. and now there is a bottom layer of black crumbly leaf mold, so the time frame is about a year.  The other leaves that went into the compost heaps seem to take about a good 3-6 months - that's with care and attention- to break down nicely OR 1 month if I use the hot Berkely compost method. If I half arse things by just poking holes in the heaps for aeration, and let mother nature rain on it and no other help from me, then the compost heaps take closer to a year.  

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  slimbolen99 on 11/23/2013, 9:21 pm

@plantoid wrote:
@slimbolen99 wrote:I guess as long as your neighbors or contributors aren't vampires, garlic would be a great idea!  To be honest, I don't ask, because it's on the curb, and when I'm collecting it (during the day), most of these folks aren't home.  Granted, making that personal connection might pay benefits in the end.  I do try and save the bags (if they weren't already damaged), and return them to their owner's front porch.  I guess I'm not one of those personable people.

I think a person could really do him or herself good to make friends with a lawn mowing business -- if they were willing to bag and deliver their lawn refuse to your door...that's one thing I'm working on this year.
Be careful on this one ..
If the lawns have been weed and feed treated with a hormone weed killer , the cuttings will carry the strong traces of the weed killer for several months and kill your chances of growing anything  sown /planted in compost made from these cuttings .

 My own lawn weed and feed chemical label  says no composting of cuttings for 8 months after treatment and stated that there will be residual hormone weed control for up to two years later.


Even then I'll be keeping the cuttings in a separate compost bin and do some trial sowings in a couple of plant pots with it in before I put it in my veg & flower beds.
That's a good point.  You do need to be careful where you get your grass clippings, less so on the leaves.

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  sanderson on 11/24/2013, 1:34 am

Looks like LM sort of answered a question I have regarding saving leaves.

Today I was moving a collection of leaves from an airy compost bag into plastic bags for winter storage, when I realized that the inside of the pile was quite warm.  There was also quite a bit of moldy, darkening leaves in there.

I thought I was suppose to collect and protect fall leaves to use in next year's compost piles.  You know, the piles I will build with browns (leaves), produce, coffee grounds, cow manure, etc.  But it looks like the leaves are starting to break down now!! 

Question:  Can I still use these moldy semi-composted leaves as the browns in new compost piles next spring?

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  llama momma on 11/24/2013, 5:30 am

My lil' old opinion here -- 
The leaves could be used in different ways.  Here are a couple of ideas. It could all be tossed back into the compost, semi composted or not.  Or..
 
I have other plans to take the blackened portion and dig it into the non sfg flowerbeds to draw earthworms and good bacteria. Just read about this and I'm really excited.  This should help condition the soil that I nearly killed/ruined years ago from repeated use of miracle grow products. (pre organic and sfg days...) 
 
Also learned that leaf mold (black and crumbly material for those who don't know) is suppose to be a great substitute for peat moss. If I have enough this Spring I'd like to use it and mix with compost for my window boxes of flowers.  For years I bought bags of pre made stuff for my flower boxes and hope to be free of that expense.

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  sanderson on 11/24/2013, 12:23 pm

LM,  Thanks for your reply.  To think I used to throw away leaf mold pre-SFG!!  I will keep all my bagged leaves this year but I was hoping to use them as the "browns" for my multi-source compost pile starting in the early spring.  This year, my first  year, I used new wood shavings as the browns for my quick compost.

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  yolos on 11/24/2013, 8:15 pm

LM - Thanks for your answers on your leaf bins.  I had one bin left over last fall with just shredded oak leaves.  I am too busy gardening in the spring and summer to mess with making a compost pile at that time.  So this fall, I took the partially decomposed oak leaves and added them to my compost pile.  They should finish composting fairly quickly now.

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  southern gardener on 11/24/2013, 9:10 pm

@llama momma wrote:My lil' old opinion here -- 
The leaves could be used in different ways.  Here are a couple of ideas. It could all be tossed back into the compost, semi composted or not.  Or..
 
I have other plans to take the blackened portion and dig it into the non sfg flowerbeds to draw earthworms and good bacteria. Just read about this and I'm really excited.  This should help condition the soil that I nearly killed/ruined years ago from repeated use of miracle grow products. (pre organic and sfg days...) 
 
Also learned that leaf mold (black and crumbly material for those who don't know) is suppose to be a great substitute for peat moss. If I have enough this Spring I'd like to use it and mix with compost for my window boxes of flowers.  For years I bought bags of pre made stuff for my flower boxes and hope to be free of that expense.

LM, you are right on about worms and leaves. We have covered out beds with wood chips/leaves and the worms are in there like crazy! I don't know how they find their way into the boxes, but they do! There are big ones, small, meds and little tiny ones too!! wahoooo!!

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  llama momma on 11/25/2013, 5:04 am

Oak leaves are tough buggers Yolos, so its actually good to let them sit for a time.  There is an extra toughness to their coating that takes longer to break down.   I think someone mentioned earlier about getting their leaf mold tested?  Leaves in themselves don't have much nutrition.  As I understand it, Yes they provide food for the microbes, but it is mostly that very action of the microbes and bugs with the greens that does all the bio chemical magic that finally makes nutrients available to the veggies.  Worms come in later as compost settles down and add their fantastic castings.  I'm not speaking with authority here, just what I've picked up so far reading, reading, reading! Very Happy

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  camprn on 11/25/2013, 6:26 am

@llama momma wrote:Oak leaves are tough buggers Yolos, so its actually good to let them sit for a time.  There is an extra toughness to their coating that takes longer to break down.   I think someone mentioned earlier about getting their leaf mold tested?  Leaves in themselves don't have much nutrition.  As I understand it, Yes they provide food for the microbes, but it is mostly that very action of the microbes and bugs with the greens that does all the bio chemical magic that finally makes nutrients available to the veggies.  Worms come in later as compost settles down and add their fantastic castings.  I'm not speaking with authority here, just what I've picked up so far reading, reading, reading! Very Happy
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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  Kelejan on 11/25/2013, 9:30 am

+2 LLM & camprn.
Dead leaves do not have much nutrition but they sure can work magic when used in conjunction with greens and worms. That is my experience as well.

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Vid on composting leaves

Post  southern gardener on 11/25/2013, 12:30 pm

just watched this vid on composting leaves. REALLY interesting. what do you guys think? I think he's right!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9OhxKlrWwc

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  donnainzone5 on 11/25/2013, 12:57 pm

I just watched the video.

Is it really possible to make good compost with just two ingredients: shredded leaves and coffee grounds? Perhaps some experiments are in order. What does everyone think?

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

Post  southern gardener on 11/25/2013, 1:03 pm

We have a pile of just leaves and branches going...that's all. It's crawling with worms and is turning into beautiful compost. We also have a "regular" pile going....so we can sort of keep track. As far as nutritional value, that's another thing. We have also buried our garden in the leaves/branches stuff, and it's really taking off, not sure why tho?? I think it's good to add other "stuff" tho...so I guess I'm not a purist..haha!

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Re: How many bags of leaves will you get this fall?

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