Hay or falling leaves discomposing - Knowledgebase Question

Lake Zurich, Il
Question by amayaalfredo
March 28, 2010
This spring I have added last fall leaves and hay to my vegetable bed; When they discompose will they steal nitrogen from the soil. I'm planting potatoes.

Answer from NGA
March 28, 2010


If the leaves and hay are dry, they will add bulk to the soil but shouldn't rob the soil of nutrients. In fact, as they decompose they will release nutrients into the soil. I've actually grown potatoes in a wire cylinder filled with straw instead of garden soil. The potatoes didn't suffer at all. So I don't think adding straw to your soil will harm them in any way.

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