fallen leaves - Knowledgebase Question

Corsicana, Te
Question by kenna_fergus
September 30, 2009
We tilled our fallen oak leaves on spring garden-- was told leaves robs nitrogen and we should have added it back ? Had BAD Garden results this spring.


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Answer from NGA
September 30, 2009

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Oak leaves take a few years to decompose and while they are doing so they can change the soil's pH. If your soil is too acidic, some plants may not grow well. You can apply lime to your garden bed to help balance out the pH. Leaves don't rob soil of nitrogen (although fresh sawdust might) so I think the problem you had was more due to the soil's pH than to a lack of nitrogen. Spread some lime over the bed now and by next spring the bed should be fine.

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