Soil and Compost forum: Letting leaves turn into soil with little help.

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Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
May 18, 2017 2:27 PM CST
Two years ago, I had more leaves than I had space to store so I just put them on the ground in an area just in front of the compost bin.
I was going to put them in the bin when it sank;
I put some of the compound used to speed up decomposition on them but nothing more.

Well as I needed the new space on top of the compost bin for storing extra cages more than I needed another six to nine feet square of garden, I just left the leaves lie.
This year the pile, originally about two feet or so high was down to two to three inches so I just roto-tilled it over.
Now it has a fair amount of small pieces that are obviously from leaves but it turned over very easily in soil that where when not turned over is as hard as most black gumbo type clay does when just left packed by foot traffic in the fall.
If I did not need my leaves for other things, and had as many as I used to, I have thought about covering a different, 8 x 8, area of the garden for a couple of years just to see how it turned out.
Now the leaves were in a walled in area on three sides so wind and sun had far less of an effect than they normally would.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
May 18, 2017 2:48 PM CST
RpR - DH runs the lawnmower over oak leaves in the fall. I put them into large trash bags over winter to use as mulch in the spring. The shredded leaves are left on the beds until the following spring when some are removed for planting. There's not a lot of shredded leaves left by the time a fresh batch is applied. Unshredded oak leaves, OTOH, take forever to break down. My garden soil has improved every year.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb

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