Composting Leaves - Knowledgebase Question

Mechanicsburg, PA
Question by SherryDoug
April 30, 1998
Recently I've been told that aak leaves are the best for mixing in the soil and that leaves from other trees don't add much to the soil. Are different types of leaves better for composting than others?


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Answer from NGA
April 30, 1998

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In general, all kinds of dead dry tree leaves are an excellent form of fibrous organic material to add to the soil. This tremendous source of humus improves the soil structure and also contains many valuable minerals. While some types of leaves may contain more or less of the various minerals, they are all worth adding. Most gardeners use whatever types of leaves are most easily available. Some gardeners prefer to dig the leaves into the soil in the fall, others prefer to shred them and add them to the compost pile. Still others prefer to use the leaves in the form of leaf mold. The only type of leaf I would not recommend for home garden use is that of the black walnut tree.

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