Ruach
 
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2004 01:32 pm
If you put oak leaves over your gardens for the winter will they cause the dirt to become to acidic? Idea
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 1,876 • Replies: 15
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colorbook
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2004 02:55 pm
I'm not really sure about oak leaves. I mulch Maple leaves in my garden and flower beds every fall. In the spring, I leave part of them down when I turn the earth. I've done this for quite a few years and it seems to have improved the quality of the soil and the growth of my plants. If the soil becomes too acidic, a little lime mixed in the soil should do the trick.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2004 03:12 pm
Don't know, but if you have any leaves, husks or other parts of the black walnut around, don't use them. They contain a sort of natural herbicide
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SealPoet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2004 03:14 pm
Bookmarking. I'll ask Mrs. SealPoet...
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Ruach
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2004 05:08 pm
Thank You Smile for the comments. I will still wait for a definitive answer to this vital question.-ruach
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colorbook
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2004 05:25 pm
Here are a few links that may answer your question.

http://www.crocus.co.uk/howto/makingleafmould/

http://wako.aka.org/Oak%20Leaves.html

http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/gl_soil_water_mulch/article/0,1785,HGTV_3634_1381799,00.html
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2004 06:15 pm
oak leaves have tannin which forms an acid. But its not a big deal. Id be more concerned about laying leaves out in big piles without shredding first. Shredding increases the surface area and speeds decomposition. whenever we use leaves We always put about a coffee can full of urea to each cubic yard. This makes smokin compost.
walnut husks have cyanogen forms cyanide, thats why there are always big barren areas around the bases of walnut trees , they kill everything with their own natural defense
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Ruach
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2004 09:37 pm
colorbook , thank you for the links.

The first link said:
"Not all deciduous leaves rot at the same rate or produce the same quality leafmould. If you are prepared to wait for really top-notch stuff use oak leaves. After a year the leafmould is magic. Most evergreens and a few deciduous trees including beech, hornbeam and chestnut produce leaves that are very resistant to rotting, so are best avoided. Being slightly acidic, oak leaves make compost that's thought to be good for repelling slugs and cutworms, while pine needle compost is said to be good for improving the flavour of strawberries! "


The 2nd post discussed oak leaves in water.

This is what I found on the 3rd link.
"Q: Are oak leaves and pine needles too acidic to be used as mulch?

A: Actually, oak leaves and pine needles are two of my favorites for mulching. Although they can lower the pH of the soil, the degree to which they do is negligible. But if you're concerned about the effect either material might have on your soil's pH, you can use them to mulch plants that prefer acidic soil. Or you can compost them first, because the pH of finished compost is usually neutral, regardless of what you put in the pile.


Farmerman, these leaves are shredded.


I am lucky all the info states oak leaves are the best. Razz
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2004 07:25 am
A lot of the bad rep given to oak leaves and to pine needles really belongs to acid rain.
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Ruach
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2004 02:19 pm
Noddy, if we ever meet, ask me my name first. I wouldn't want you to blow me away with that bad gun.

I was really suprised to see that oak leaves are great for composting. I have been using them for 3 years.

I wonder if the accumulation of 3 years is going to effect the dirt?
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Jan, 2004 01:29 pm
Ruach--

After three years you should have improved the organic content of your soil. Do you have many earthworms? Earthworms are not only enthusiastic gardeners, they are a sign of healthy soil.
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Ruach
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2004 01:15 pm
Noddy24, I do have earthworms. When tilling I hate to kill them. Confused
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2004 03:12 pm
Ruach--

If you have lots of worms, perhaps your soil is friable enough to skip tilling and just plant?

I'm a Ruth Stout (How to Have a Green Thumb without an Aching Back organic gardener.
0 Replies
 
Ruach
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2004 03:21 pm
Noddy24, your are right. I might skip the tilling this year. I have thought about it.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2004 03:56 pm
Ruach--

There is a theory that tilling disturbs the "tilth" of the soil by turning bottom to top and top to bottom. This is not necessarily a good idea. Your worms are bringing up minerals from the sub soil under the garden bed, you're adding organic compost....

Pick up your trowel--and your white gloves--and plant.
0 Replies
 
Ruach
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2004 09:35 pm
Noddy24, I will do that. Surprised
0 Replies
 
 

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