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Leaves in Vegetable Garden

Posted by mjnoah 6 (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 6, 10 at 11:45

I have spread a couple inches of leaves over the vegetable garden. They have some grass in them that is already decomposed and the leaves have been through a mower. Is it better to get them incorporated into the soil now or just let lay on top to decompose? Unless they are in a pile it seems decomposition might be slower spread out over the garden bed.

Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Leaves in Vegetable Garden

Also, I was thinking of spreading some blood meal over them to help in decomposition.


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RE: Leaves in Vegetable Garden

One more thing, the ground was plowed to break up hard pan. Is it still a good idea to incorporate the leaves after having been plowed once? Thanks.


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RE: Leaves in Vegetable Garden

This could go either way. I've done both, and don't know if there is a preferred method. Putting the leaves down (as long as they are moistened when put in place to keep them from blowing away) on top is an EASY solution. You can always till them in come spring. OR, you can plow them in now, and the worms will have better access to them during the winter months, if it doesn't get too cold. You will probably till again in the spring, so this would cause you double work.

Personally, I don't know that there really is any benefit to plowing them in now, but I don't think there is any harm either.


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RE: Leaves in Vegetable Garden

If by plowing in, it means putting them down several inches deep, I think it is better to keep them in the top 3 inches.


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RE: Leaves in Vegetable Garden

  • Posted by pt03 3 Southern Manitoba (My Page) on
    Sat, Nov 6, 10 at 19:12

I incorporate the leaves based on this information sheet.

Lloyd


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RE: Leaves in Vegetable Garden

If you leave those leaves on your soil as a mulch they will aid in 1) suppressing "weed" growth, 2) retaining soil moisture levels, 3) and allow the soil bacteria ti incorporate them in to your soil better than you can by tilling them in.
If you till those leaves into your soil you can stir up more "weed" seeds and possibly disturb the Soil Food Web enough that it will set them back several months. Tilling is a lot of unnecessary work.


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RE: Leaves in Vegetable Garden

I say leave 'em where they lie. Worms, fungus and microbes are very capable of getting at them from the surface.


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RE: Leaves in Vegetable Garden

I would be very careful about adding too much blood meal. It is extremely high in nitrogen, which is good for leaf development, but can seriously inhibit fruit set, particularly in tomatoes. You will end up with a garden that looks great but produces little. A little nitrogen goes a long way. Better to get compost into the soil which is well balanced....IMHO. ;)
Don


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