Too Many Leaves In The Garden? - Knowledgebase Question

Danville, VA
Avatar for roman5
Question by roman5
December 12, 1997
This year we reduced our number of leaves by using a chipper shredder and put them on our garden. My concern is, can too many leaves harm the garden, maybe by changing the pH of the soil? How much is too much? We had a wonderful garden last summer and would hate to mess things up!

Answer from NGA
December 12, 1997
Unless you are shredding a great quantity (and I mean a large quantity) of something like pine needles or oak leaves (which are acidic) you shouldn't have to worry about pH. You would only get into a situation of having too much leaf material if you had such a thick layer that there was greatly reduced air circulation underneath the leaves. By shredding the leaves as you have done, you have probably taken care of that. Fallen leaves decompose very quickly, and by shredding them, you sped up that process as well.

A lot of people pay a lot of money to purchase "leaf mould" from retail outlets...the very stuff you are creating for free in your yard. You don't mention if you have a compost heap or not; if not, maybe next season when you have a bounty of leaves would be a great time to start one!

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