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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › compost or mulch in place?

compost or mulch in place?

David S.
Washington, ME
Post #: 283
It should be noted that study was done in Florida. That makes a big difference with warmer temps and longer warm season. Here in Maine that does not translate. Having done the leaf decomposition thing myself for many years, I can tell you that full decompostion will not happen in one season even if chopped. My leaves have never left my property ever. A year on a compost pile and then putting it in a year later works better. Oak leaves are waxy and take much longer. Adding grass clippings helps.

There is nothing wrong with leaves a top dressing/weed barrier though. If it is not mixed into you soil it should be OK. I'm guessing you could probably do the Ruth Stout hay method with leaves. It would take a few years to get going (again guessing). Probably would need lime.

A former member
Post #: 123
One other thing you can do is to use dry leaves for bedding if you keep chickens. The nitrogen in their droppings (which the chickens have stirred into the leaves all winter) pairs well with the leaves. Add leaves in the fall so that when you clean out the coop in the spring, you can add it to your compost pile or even a separate pile just for leaves so they can continue to decompose into leaf mold. As David says, in the north, it might take a couple of seasons so it's not an instant gratification thing. I know a gardener who has huge piles of decomposing leaves at varying stages of 'leaf mold' so if you have the space, you can work out a rotation and then add it back into your garden when it's ready.

user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 276
I REALLY appreciate your sharing this article, Alder!

If anyone in Portland is interested in borrowing the Toro Leaf Shredder that Francis and I gave to Paul Ridlon our neighbor (and member in our meetup) who has more room for it than we, (and which other members Lori & Matt are borrowing this weekend,) -- just email Paul. He said he'd be very happy to share it.
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