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Shredded leaves from last year - What to do with them?

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Shredded leaves from last year - What to do with them?

Post  jjocsak on 6/3/2014, 8:15 am

I have about a dozen bags of shredded leaves left over from last year.
How can I best use them right now?
I have already added some to my compost bin.

1. Leave them in the bags and add water so they start breaking down.
2. Add a top layer to my square foot beds.
3. Add them to by beds by mixing them into the MM.
4. Start a new compost bin and add all of them to that and just leave them compost on their own.
5. Or something else I haven't thought of?

Thanks
Jeff
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Re: Shredded leaves from last year - What to do with them?

Post  yolos on 6/3/2014, 9:11 am

@jjocsak wrote:I have about a dozen bags of shredded leaves left over from last year.
How can I best use them right now?
I have already added some to my compost bin.

1. Leave them in the bags and add water so they start breaking down.
2. Add a top layer to my square foot beds.
3. Add them to by beds by mixing them into the MM.
4. Start a new compost bin and add all of them to that and just leave them compost on their own.
5. Or something else I haven't thought of?

Thanks
Jeff
# 3 - Do not Add them to the beds by mixing them into the MM.  The leaves will begin composting and use nitrogen from the soil.

# 4 - I like this choice the best and this is what I do.  When I have left over leaves, I shred them and put them in a simple holding bin, keep them moist and use them in my regular compost pile when I build a new pile.  They will be partially broken down and will compost faster.  But I am using live oak leaves and they take forever to compost so a little head start in the holding bin helps.

#2 - Add a top layer to the beds ie mulch your beds to conserve moisture.  This is a good use for them and then at the end of the season you can either turn them under to compost in the beds over the winter or take them out and put in your compost bin.  I had a problem last year with using live oak leaves as a mulch.  Live oak leaves have a lot of tannin in them and I have heard that this presents a problem for germination of seeds until they are fully composted (I don't know how accurate this last statement is but I tried planting seeds in a bed that had been mulched with oak leaves in the prior planting and I had very poor germination.  This could have been coincidental though).

I like this video about composting leaves.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9OhxKlrWwc
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Re: Shredded leaves from last year - What to do with them?

Post  jjocsak on 6/5/2014, 8:16 am

Thanks Yolos. That's probably what I will end up doing.
I watched that video last year and it's what prompted me to gather the leaves.
I guess I forgot about what he recommended to do with them.
Thanks for the reminder.

Jeff
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