Tea from leaves

spinach1November 4, 2013

I left a bucket outside one day and it started raining pretty heavy. The bucket not only filled up with water, but also found lots of leaves in them. I was going to drain the bucket when I noticed the water had turned a little brown, almost like a light tea. No doubt it came from the leaves. Would this have any nutritional value to plants. Not sure if the color is just from the leaf pigment or if there's something else in there that might be beneficial. I still have some spinach out yet.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I wouldn't. Many trees have allelopathic properties.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 1:31PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I wouldn't. Many trees have allelopathic properties.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 1:35PM
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nc_crn

If not fully composted leaves contain a lot of tannins and phenols which can do more harm than good to a wide variety of plants...especially in a soaked "tea" concentrate.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 3:59PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

You would get some of the nutrients that the tree leaves have and it would be better to use that "tea" in the garden then dumping it down the sewer. If there are growing plants try a little of the "tea first before spraying the whole plant, but spraying over barren ground some time before seeding most likely will have little affect since the allelopathic properties the leaves might have (not seen when the leaves are used as mulch) do not last very long.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 6:27AM
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spinach1

Thanks for the replies. When I first noticed the tea, I did put a little on a couple plants. They are still alive and that's all that matters, for the time being. Will monitor them to see if they become stunted. I really doubt that will happen though. Really light and didn't put too much on them.

By the way, how often are spinach plants supposed to be watered? It's getting much cooler outside so the water isn't evaporating as fast. I'm growing in pots.

Is the soil supposed to be really moist at all times or should they be allowed to "starve" , then watered.

So much conflicting info on this on this watering issue.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 6:56AM
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poaky1

Would oak leaf tea help acid lovers? Or at least not hurt to use to water them other than throw out?

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 10:47PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Oak leaf tea would have no more help for acid lovers then would Oak leaves. Oak leaves, pine needles, etc. do not significantly affect soil pH. To lower a soils pH you need something that will add more free Hydrogen ions, sulfur.
How often to water Spinach now depends on how fast your soil drains, how quickly the plants transpire the moisture the soil has (affected by temperature as well as wind), and if the soil is well mulched or not. Keep an eye on them since you do not want them wilting.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 7:21AM
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