Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


[/td][/tr][/table]
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Today's Harvest
by trolleydriver Today at 2:00 pm

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver Today at 1:58 pm

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by trolleydriver Today at 1:56 pm

» Flavor bomb cubes for veggies and...
by hammock gal Today at 12:35 pm

» New England September 2017
by CapeCoddess Today at 12:17 pm

» Carrot Week 2017!
by CapeCoddess Today at 10:55 am

» Bug/Pest Identification....Help!
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 9:32 am

» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by trolleydriver Today at 9:02 am

» Roasted butternut squash soup
by trolleydriver Today at 8:49 am

» Frankensquash
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 10:20 pm

» What I learned this year
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 7:41 pm

» Compost Heaps
by brianj555 Yesterday at 5:09 pm

» Fall Garden?
by sanderson Yesterday at 4:46 pm

» Cucumber Plants on the Ground! :-(
by brianj555 Yesterday at 4:40 pm

» Hello from NE OHIO
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 3:19 pm

» Any Strange and Wonderful Visitors? Photos please!
by hammock gal Yesterday at 8:59 am

» Happy Autumn Equinox
by brianj555 9/23/2017, 11:24 am

» Amaranth
by AtlantaMarie 9/23/2017, 8:44 am

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by trolleydriver 9/23/2017, 7:25 am

» N&C Midwest - September 2017
by Scorpio Rising 9/21/2017, 7:56 pm

» Spotted Lanternfly: invasive pest "new" to the US
by sanderson 9/21/2017, 1:41 pm

» First red kidney bean harvest....now what?
by AtlantaMarie 9/21/2017, 6:28 am

» question about Garlic and winter
by Scorpio Rising 9/20/2017, 6:38 pm

» Ginger
by has55 9/20/2017, 2:38 pm

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in September 2017
by Kelejan 9/20/2017, 2:29 pm

» Senseless Banter...
by AtlantaMarie 9/20/2017, 9:08 am

» harvesting wood chips
by Kelejan 9/19/2017, 9:55 pm

» Tomato Tuesday 2017
by brianj555 9/19/2017, 7:18 pm

» leeks again
by donnainzone5 9/19/2017, 12:17 pm

» WANTED: Pictures of Compost Bins
by has55 9/19/2017, 9:03 am

Google

Search SFG Forum

Adding old leaves to compost bin?

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/22/2014, 5:52 pm

I have many, many one-year-old+ bags of leaves.

After all this time, do I need to shred them before adding them to my compost bin?  (The leaves, not the bags, LOL!)
avatar
donnainzone5

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 2155
Join date : 2010-03-02
Age : 70
Location : Bend, OR (Zone 5-6)

View user profile http://www.amway.com/DonnaKBecker

Back to top Go down

Re: Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  68carguy on 3/22/2014, 6:48 pm

Donnainzone10

Are they broken down at all yet? Were they moisten in the bag and starting to turn to a leaf mold? I find that by shredding then they break down much faster, I just run over mine in the fall with the mower a few times when they are very dry, then go back with the bagger attached and vacuum them up and add to the compost heap….I love leaves, I used to drive around in various neighborhoods in the fall where they mulch them and put them out for garbage collection by the curb, stop and throw them in the back of my truck. My daughter being around 12 or 13 hated me for this,,,she was so embarrassed….
avatar
68carguy

Male Posts : 152
Join date : 2014-02-16
Location : Northern, VA.

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  camprn on 3/22/2014, 6:58 pm

If you shred them it will give more surface area for the compost pile bacteria to do their thing. If you leave them whole the compost will take a bit longer to finish.

____________________________

41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



avatar
camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14165
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 55
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  Turan on 3/22/2014, 7:04 pm

I used bags of such leaves to mulch the garden last year. They were especially nice in the greenhouse around hte tomatoes and in the beds around broccoli. There is still a layer in hte greenhouse that I intend to treat like wood chips, ie I will add some finished compost on top and water it in. The stuff used to mulch the out side beds has all decayed now.

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Belgrade, MT
Click for weather forecast
avatar
Turan

Female Posts : 2292
Join date : 2012-03-29
Location : Gallatin Valley, Montana, Intermountain zone 4

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/22/2014, 7:05 pm

I often have bags of debris or leaves or sticks laying around for months or years. If it looks like my compost pile needs or can handle something, and I think its a good match /mix, I will add it.

Does it look like your compost bin can handle  the leaves the way they are now?  And be finished by the time you need it?

CC
avatar
CapeCoddess

Posts : 6425
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 61
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  camprn on 3/22/2014, 7:45 pm

Turan wrote:I used bags of such leaves to mulch the garden last year.  They were especially nice in the greenhouse around hte tomatoes and in the beds around broccoli.  There is still a layer in hte greenhouse that I intend to treat like wood chips, ie I will add some finished compost on top and water it in.  The stuff used to mulch the out side beds has all decayed now.
+1, less the greenhouse.

____________________________

41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



avatar
camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14165
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 55
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  sanderson on 12/9/2014, 1:31 pm

This Topic is close enough to my urgent question.

Leaves from a pear tree that was next to a tree that had Mistletoe??  Across the street is a yard full of ornamental pear tree leaves but I am hesitant to go over and rake them.
avatar
sanderson

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14604
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  plantoid on 12/9/2014, 2:39 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:I have many, many one-year-old+ bags of leaves.

After all this time, do I need to shred them before adding them to my compost bin?  (The leaves, not the bags, LOL!)
If your going to be turning your heaps  running the lawn mower over the leaves to shred them is helpful to make the surface areas more compostable .

I still have several cubic yards of these sort of mulched leaves that I'm slowly adding in two inch layers on top of other composting material as the height in the bins drops due to composting action.

 I also have several cubic feet of damp un-trashed oak leaves .. these untouched leaves do take a long time to compost ,  the acid in the whole leaves seems to preserve them for a couple of years .
avatar
plantoid

Male Posts : 3727
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 66

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  sanderson on 12/9/2014, 2:53 pm

Plantoid, thanks for answering. However, this is an older topic I highjacked because I don't know if Mistletoe is a big No-No for composting.

I'm going to rake another neighbor's lawn for his Pistachio leaves right now! The leaves are small and skinny! We are getting a hard rain in 48 hours so I am trying to collect what ever clean leaves I can find for future composts.
avatar
sanderson

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14604
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  plantoid on 12/9/2014, 3:07 pm

Mistletoe is poisonous to humans in its green form , so are most evergreen leaves .

 I don't know about it when it's been composted & mixed in with other compost .
avatar
plantoid

Male Posts : 3727
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 66

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 12/9/2014, 4:59 pm

plantoid wrote:
donnainzone10 wrote:I have many, many one-year-old+ bags of leaves.

After all this time, do I need to shred them before adding them to my compost bin?  (The leaves, not the bags, LOL!)
If your going to be turning your heaps  running the lawn mower over the leaves to shred them is helpful to make the surface areas more compostable .

I still have several cubic yards of these sort of mulched leaves that I'm slowly adding in two inch layers on top of other composting material as the height in the bins drops due to composting action.

 I also have several cubic feet of damp un-trashed oak leaves .. these untouched leaves do take a long time to compost ,  the acid in the whole leaves seems to preserve them for a couple of years .
Here's my experience with composting leaves:  I used to live on a property in San Diego that had ancient 500 to 600 year old giant oak trees.  Because of the mild climate they dropped their very small sized leaves all year around (no need to crush them).  Every week I would mow the three lawns and blow the leaves off of the huge patio (my exercise regime).  I mixed those two elements in the proportion they were gathered each week and made amazing compost very easily.  

Thinking about it now, I probably was high on the nitrogen side since reaching temps of 140-160 were common.  I would turn the pile each week while building materials for the next pile.  This was before I knew anything about hot composting, I was just using what I had on hand.  

That property had humus 2 feet deep and with not a SINGLE rock in it.  Everything grew so easily there my only struggle was the deep shade.  The Oak trees had produced their own soil over all the years, without anything but the leaves sitting and eventually breaking down.
avatar
audrey.jeanne.roberts

Posts : 1916
Join date : 2012-12-07
Location : Central Calif Mtns.

View user profile http://audreyjeanne-roberts.artistwebsites.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  camprn on 12/9/2014, 6:57 pm

Compost the mistletoe in a hot pile. All will be well.
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/soil/msg121249252447.html

____________________________

41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



avatar
camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14165
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 55
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  yolos on 12/9/2014, 7:52 pm

audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:
Here's my experience with composting leaves:  I used to live on a property in San Diego that had ancient 500 to 600 year old giant oak trees.  Because of the mild climate they dropped their very small sized leaves all year around (no need to crush them).
Audrey - your description of the oak leaves leads me to believe they were live oak leaves.  I have a lot of live oak trees and I have read some information on the internet that mentioned the live oak leaves may be alliopathic (sp).  Did you have any problem with seeds germinating in the live oak leaf compost.
avatar
yolos

Female Posts : 3254
Join date : 2011-11-20
Age : 67
Location : Brooks, Ga Zone 7B/8A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  boffer on 12/9/2014, 8:52 pm

Allelopathic...thanks for suggesting my new word of day!

From what I've found, the leaves of some red oaks (Quercus falcata, Quercus marilandica, Quercus rubra) and one type of white oak (Quercus stellata) are strongly allelopathic.  They are mostly found in your area of the country.  

For the last 5 years or so, 20% of my compost has been Oregon White Oak/Garry Oak, Quercus garryana.  It's the only native oak in the PNW.  I haven't had any problems with them, other than when we use them as mulch we end up growing oak seedlings in the flower beds!

I don't know if there's a difference in content between live and dead oak leaves.
avatar
boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 64
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 12/9/2014, 8:56 pm

yolos wrote:
audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:
Here's my experience with composting leaves:  I used to live on a property in San Diego that had ancient 500 to 600 year old giant oak trees.  Because of the mild climate they dropped their very small sized leaves all year around (no need to crush them).
Audrey - your description of the oak leaves leads me to believe they were live oak leaves.  I have a lot of live oak trees and I have read some information on the internet that mentioned the live oak leaves may be alliopathic (sp).  Did you have any problem with seeds germinating in the live oak leaf compost.
I don't know what species they were from, there aren't that many that are native to the San Diego area though.  They had tiny curled almost holly like leaves, perhaps 1-2 inches long at the most.

I never had an issue with seeds not starting (at least weed seeds!) but I didn't grow veggies or start my own seeds when I was there to really know.
avatar
audrey.jeanne.roberts

Posts : 1916
Join date : 2012-12-07
Location : Central Calif Mtns.

View user profile http://audreyjeanne-roberts.artistwebsites.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  sanderson on 12/10/2014, 12:44 am

camprn wrote:Compost the mistletoe in a hot pile. All will be well.
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/soil/msg121249252447.html

Thanks, Camp, for responding to my question.  I saw this same article earlier and decided to go with my neighbor's leaves. I raked, DH mowed and we bagged.
I also raked and collected these Pistachio eaves from another neighbor. When I asked permission, he was a little amazed that someone would want to rake up his leaves to use in their garden.  He's that one neighbor that every hood has, gardening and maintenance is not his thing.
avatar
sanderson

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14604
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 12/10/2014, 12:56 am

boffer wrote: I haven't had any problems with them, other than when we use them as mulch we end up growing oak seedlings in the flower beds!
Growing up, I made my children pick 100 oak trees (seedlings) before they could come eat dinner, LOL!  I could be slightly exaggerating Laughing  but not by much!!!

This particular type of oak had a corkscrew taproot and if you didn't pick it before it was 6 inches tall you might never kill it. A grown man could tug on a 12" seedling and not be able to pull it out. Amazing creations.
avatar
audrey.jeanne.roberts

Posts : 1916
Join date : 2012-12-07
Location : Central Calif Mtns.

View user profile http://audreyjeanne-roberts.artistwebsites.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  Cajun Cappy on 12/10/2014, 12:41 pm

For years we fought acorns, and corn stalks from growing around our plants, not from mulch and we didnt have an oak tree but planted by squirrels.  Like stated above if they get started they are very dificult to get rid of.  I have had to lay down worm my way under a shrub and ring some of them to get them to die.  Cut them off and 4 will sprout from the stump. Sad  Ring them and they die.
avatar
Cajun Cappy

Male Posts : 632
Join date : 2014-12-06
Age : 59
Location : South Louisiana zone 10

View user profile http://cappyandpegody.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Adding old leaves to compost bin?

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum