Leaves

This topic contains 9 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Wellies 3 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #49040

    Wellies
    Participant

    Hi Charles / All,
    Our plot has many very large ash, oak, sycamore and other trees.
    At this time of year there are thousands of leaves coming off the trees.

    Would you clear these uncomposted leaves from no dig beds and compost them or leave them where they landed?

    Also are there any issues with adding lots (ie builders bags full) of leaves into compost heaps? Layered with the other ingredients of course.

    Rob

    #49058

    charles
    Moderator

    I would leave them to decompose in situ.
    For that quantity of leaves in bags, best make a leaf mould pile and leave for 12-18 months before using as compost. Your compost heaps will be too slow to finish otherwise, unless you have equal quantities of green.

    #49065

    Wellies
    Participant

    Thanks Charles.
    I shall leave the ones that fall in the no dig beds in situ. I have loads of leaves to come from a local church and cemetery. I am still cutting grass from our blueberry area and orchard so have plenty of grass cuttings so will keep building up compost heaps as much as we can.

    #49175

    Wellies
    Participant

    Hi Charles / All,
    A friend and i collected four builders bags full of leaves off a tree lined road near us. They are very full and stomped to squeeze as much in as possible and pretty heavy (I guess about 200kg each bag).
    Can I just leave the leaves in these bags to make leaf mould? Can I just add a plastic or cardboard lid and leave them? We have swept up quite a few worms as we went along too so they have a worm population started.

    #49532

    JD
    Participant

    Not had a lot of experience at making it but I believe leaf decomposition for leaf mould is mainly fungal and needs to be damp. If your leaves were damp when you collected them I would think it would be ok (but stand to be corrected by experts on here). If they were dry then it could take a very long time unless you could water them. Wish you the best
    Jan

    #49541

    charles
    Moderator

    Good points Jan and yes, in those bags is a good idea!

    #49561

    Wellies
    Participant

    Hi Jan,
    They are pretty damp and quite a lot of it was part rotted when we gathered them.
    I think I shall add some big cardboard lids for the bags to keep the surface from drying out, conversely stop them from getting too wet.

    #49641

    Wellies
    Participant

    On tuesday and wednesday I got about 2 cubic metres of grass strimmings, maybe three or four cubic metres before being stomped into the dumper bucket. It has been in there four days so is starting to go grey, compost and get hot.
    I am just wondering if I can do about 2″ straw, 3″ grass, 2″ wet part decomposed leaves, cardboard and repeat to build up a compost pile?
    I also have heaps of 4 month old cow muck and mucky bedding on pallets I can also add.
    I am just wondering if I can use some of these leaves up and increase my winter compost quantity.

    #49647

    charles
    Moderator

    Yes Wellies that sounds a good mix. The grass needs diluting with plenty of brown so perfect, and use it soon while hot.

    #49649

    Wellies
    Participant

    Charles, Thank you for the reply.
    We (my two boys and I) started building the heap up today. We had another heap of grass to use before getting to the stuff in the dumper but we measured the temperature inside the dumper bucket just out of interest. Its at 70 Degrees C only a fork depth down. It could be even hotter in the middle.
    We shall get it layered up in the heap tomorrow.

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