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Monday, October 24, 2005

Fallen leaves as mulch

While I probably abuse this concept out of laziness, I have been raking my leaves into my beds for a while. This actually works better in the Winter months out here as there is significant moisture to help the leaves break down. In Summer, I think it is too dry to let anything really work in the soil. It would also probably help to mulch up the leaves a little beforehand. During our El Nino year several years ago, the leaves merely matted together without breaking down much due to all the heavy rain. If it isn't one thing, it's another.

Tuck those fallen leaves right into beds

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Don't rake and rid your garden of leaves. Instead rake them right into your garden beds.

Leaves make one of the best mulches available. They form a protective blanket from cold in winter, slow evaporation in summer, and eventually will break down to form incredibly rich topsoil. The only exception is diseased leaves.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lemon Eucalyptus and Pine Needles for Mulch?
I have lots of lemon eucalyptus leaves as well as
pine needles and small cones. Can they be used
for mulch with my other fallen leaves---or it there
something in one or both that is not good for the
garden? I would appreciate your feedback. Also, can
I use them directly, or do I need to composte them
for a while? Thanks

9:31 AM  
Blogger Douglas said...

A quick Google search pointed up many references to using pine needles as mulch, although specific information on eucalyptus was not readily available.

I don't believe there are any inhibitive factors in these leaves that would effect the growth of surrounding plants, but I am not an expert on such things. More research is probably required.

What I did find, though is that pine needles can effect the PH of your soil, so if you have issues with acid/alkaline balance in your soil, you might need to take this into account.

Perhaps one of the other readers can chime in with a more complete answer?

9:55 AM  

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