Orange tree leaves? Mulch questions...

slowjane CA/ Sunset 21June 16, 2014

Hi all, I'm looking for mulch for my raised veggie garden beds - two 4'x4' beds using SFG methods, so not a lot of square footage to have to cover. I've been using leftover composted soil amendment I purchased but looking for a new (free?) source.

I've got a big orange tree that sheds leaves all over the yard and a light bulb went off - is there any reason citrus won't work? Should I shred and just lay them around them around the plants (a few inches from the plant stems)? If I've seen whitefly/insects on the tree at various times, but it's healthy right now should I be concerned with transporting pests/disease?

The other thing I have is newspaper - I'm sure that topic is well-trod territory around here - but I'm looking for the best solution for small veggie garden in Southern California (hot, dry). Straw seems to win the award in many discussions - and I will look for a source but haven't found one yet in urban LA.

Any advice much appreciated!!! Thanks all!!

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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

You would think it is hard to find straw in urban Los Angeles but it's not. You just need to know where to look. There are way more people with horses in their yard than you would ever believe. East Valley Feed and Tack has it. I would image near the Equestrian Center would be a good place to look as well. But I bet you will hate it for SFG unless you shred it first.

Shredded citrus leaves would be fine but yeah, no infestations

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 9:12PM
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slowjane CA/ Sunset 21

Thanks for the tip about straw sources....What mulch would you recommend for SFG gardens nil13?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 9:46PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

What material to use as mulch depends on what you can get the most of and at what cost. Spending lots of money on material generally is not necessary.
For example, a person I know raked up and threw away leaves that were doing a good job of suppressing "weed" growth and replaced them with $3.00 per 2 cubic foot bag of pine nuggets that are spread too thin to suppress the growth of anything, so now that bed needs regular applications of "weed" killers to keep them from growing. The leaves were free.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 6:41AM
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