Strange Problem - Too Many Leaves!

dlangend1120March 19, 2014

I have not been here for a while, hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Apparently last fall my collection of leaf bags really was over the top. I currently turned my last fall compost pile to cook this Spring and built a new pile with most of the shredded leaves that I had used as winter mulch for perennials and the veggie garden itself. It has a generous helping of winterized kitchen scraps and finished compost to start cooking. Then the holding bin is full of not-so-shredded leaves and pine needles (will use in campfires). So after piling up the working pile up to about 3-4 feet, I still have a huge winrow of shredded leaves from the main part of the garden. I know they are not ideal as tomato mulch, but what has been your experience? I am thinking I have no other place to use them but on the veggie garden this summer until my working pile cooks down. And besides that, i have a medium-sized pile to shred from some bags of leaves that I just could not resist grabbing in January! Now, once I shred those and shred the holding bin, I might have room for more of the leaves from the garden, but basically want to know if this shredded (mostly oak) leaf mulch will have negative impact on my tomatoes?

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I have never heard of leaf mulch being a problem in a garden. Olbrich gardens in Madison sells bags of leaf mulch for $5 each and suggests using it in beds and gardens. Obviously you can't pile it up on tomatoes but should make your soil better over time. That's why woods soil is jet black and full of good stuff. IMO

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 6:07PM
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I have never had a problem with my tomatoes when they were mulched with leaves although I did when I did not do that.
Why one earth would you keep pine needles for a campfire?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 6:31AM
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Yeah, I read later that it should be fine. The first search didn't give me any results here in gardenweb, but google led me to the proper post in gw. Oh, and the pine needles make good kindling, that is what I meant to say.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 12:54PM
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sand_mueller(z 7a, oklahoma)

Thermo-phytic bacteria don't like leaves. Most of the so called cooking going on are the other ingredients not the leaves. Plus leaves layer up and clog your supposed composting. That's why everyone goes to such trouble (and fuel use)to chop them. that way the pieces get small enough to not blow everywhere and cover everything up. they still are not broken down or composted, they're just chopped. Leaves mold. When you throw them around, oxygen gets in and the physical layering is broken so that the mold is unable to work. They should be layered and left alone until nature molds them. There is more ignorance on this subject than any other area on this forum.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 2:45PM
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