Using Leaves for Mulch

Discussion in 'Gardening, Plant Propegation, & Farming' started by joshposh, Jun 10, 2016.

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  1. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member
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    What most people think as rubbish, it's actually a good weed blocker and mulch. What does mulch do for your garden? Besides chocking out weeds, once water is soaked into mulch, or in this case leaves, it will retain the water and keep your soil moist. In turn that will help your garden grow.

    In a survival situation where there is no water pressure this could save your back from carrying water back and forth to the garden.

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  2. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    What we normally use for mulch is the grass that we had pulled. But we cut off roots so it will not grow. You see, grass and other weeds easily grow and fast. Particularly the fresh grass that is still wet inside, it is more efficient in terms of storing water or preventing water from evaporating. But with dry leaves, the trade off is it becomes brittle and later on mixes with the soil and is converted to fertilizer. However, we only put mulch in planter beds during summer and not during rainy season anymore.

    Just recently, we had the worst drought in memory such that we had to water the garden twice a day to prevent the plants from wilting. Even small trees die due to the extreme heat and dryness of the soil. That's why we had the remaining grasses pulled and used as mulch to insulate the root areas of our small trees.
     
  3. Endure

    Endure Expert Member
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    Heh I always regard dead leaves as nuisance rubbish. Using them as mulch is a neat idea however. Here there are a lot of lush trees that drop plenty of dead leaves from time to time. I always pile up them with a rake and afterwards throw them away to the wilderness or just light a fire.
     
  4. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member
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    It's something everyone in the West have been taught since we were kids. But in a climate that is very unforgiving and water is scarce, it would be a be a good alternative. It will keep moisture in your vegetable gardens longer.

    I don't use grass because you burn a lot of energy pulling the grass and weeds out, and cutting the roots off is labor intensive. Leaves don't have those issues. Save the energy and think smarter, not harder.
     
  5. Valerie

    Valerie Active Member
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    My father and I used to gather all the dead leaves that fell in the autumn, put them beneath a tarp over the winter, and in the springtime rake those deteriorating into the bushes and flower beds. We'd then blend it up well with the soil, place a few more leaves on top, and fertilize. The bushes always took off. Plus, it keep weeds from growing around the roses and other plants. Saved us bundles on mulch too.

    The only problem was that sometimes critters wanted to live beneath the leaves. Though these bugs didn't really bother the plants, it was never fun reaching into the leaves and getting stung or bitten. I learned to wear gloves really quick.
     
  6. cluckeyo

    cluckeyo Well-Known Member
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    We have a lot of post oaks here and they make excellent mulch. We chop them up with the mower and put them in any area we don't want grass to grow. Flower beds, the asparagus bed, around the veges, around trees to hold moisture. We also save some and put them in the compost tumbler with quail manure and shreded cardboard. Makes wonderful compost!
     
  7. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member
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    This reminds me when I was a kid and we use to mow the mango leaves and it would spit out nice looking mulch. Back then we never thought twice about it. The rabbits loved it though. Mix that and the rabbit dung and we would have a nice combination. As a kid we never thought along those lines. Why not just add some charcoal and we would be set for organic farming.
     
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  8. PracticalToby

    PracticalToby Member
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    I keep all the autumn leaf fall and either store the leaves in wire netting cages or bag them in polythene rubbish sacks until they rot down. Clearly, a container could be cut from brushwood components in the absence of 'modern' materials. Rotten down, they act as an excellent soil improver when added as a mulch and then dug into the top layer of soil when the crops are harvested.
     
  9. remnant

    remnant Expert Member
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    Mulch has many advantages because it finally rots and becomes manure as well as conserving water and smothering weeds. It also acts as a refuge for living organisms that exist in the soil like earthworms and millipedes which turn and aerate the soil. The leaves should be fast growing, have nitrogeneous content and broad.
     
  10. Harrysung

    Harrysung New Member
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    At my place, though we use weeds for mulching, but the main reason is to prevent heat from the sun from damaging the plant seeds planted in heaps.
     
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