Pine needles and Oak leaves and ph

esther_opalJune 27, 2007

Research done by many people including Dr. Abigail Manynard at the UCONN Agricultural Research Station in New Haven, Conn has shown that there is no significant change in soil pH after years of adding oak leaves or pine needles to that soil.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i agree ....

i heard the same thing from other sources ....

and think about it.. the stuff disappears in minutes.. when you consider geologic time ....

i mean really .. if you had it to a depth of 10 miles.. and a millenia for it to rot.. maybe there would be some impact... but an inch or two of leaves or needles.. it just doesn't follow that there would be ANY impact on ma nature.. in the slightest ... think about it....

ken

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 3:24PM
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hosta_freak(z6 NC)

I don't know about ph,but it sure does enrich the soil!!Phil

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 3:35PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Neighbor: You're not going to leave all those oak leaves in your garden are ya?
Other neghbor: You're not going to put all those oak leaves in your compost are ya? Don't ya know they are ACID?
Me: Does it look to you like my plants are unhappy?

Another scenario: (FIL when I am a poor newly married gardener and have just put 2 inches of ground corn cob free mulch on my roses) Oh( sighing deeply) you have just ruined your garden! You will never get it back! You will have to dig all the soil out and replace it.
This weekend, son: Ouch! My elbow is sore, I think I have tendonitis. It's hurt ever since I turned the garden.
Me: Turned the garden?? What garden?
Son: the one in the back corner where all the hosta are.
Me: You turned it?! What did you do with the hosta?
Son: I just turned the soil between them.
Me: Why?
Son: Thought I would just loosen the soil around them.
Me: What did you do with the mulch?
Son: there is no mulch.
And I thought I taught him better!!!
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 4:24PM
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hostared(Z5, IL)

Ken, does this also apply to Maple leaves?
I don't have an Oak tree nearby. I do have a nice white pine that sheds. But I do used crused Maple leaves as winter cover and then work it in the soil in the spring.

So these leaves won't do any PH change other than add compost to the soil.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 9:36PM
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esther_opal

But I do used crused Maple leaves as winter cover and then work it in the soil in the spring.
Hostared

What type of garden do you work the leaves into.

Ken, part of the understanding of leaves, etc changing ph is the volumes that would be required to change the soil. How much acid would be required to completely change a piece of limestone rock small enough to fit into the palm of your hand to neutral. Now change an acre of soil from 6.7 to 6.6 Ph and tell me how much acid would be required.

The idea for example that pine needles makes acid soil comes from finding an ancient stand of pine and discovering the soil is acid. Which came first, the acid soil or the pine trees, the pine trees found soil they liked and stayed.

There is a bit of good news in all this, if you allow the soil to work its magic with organic matter it will create micro zones that accommodates many different plants with slightly different Ph requirements. It is said the plants selects for the organisms it needs and organisms select for the plants they need. Generally I think it is a waste of time to get a soil Ph test because it only matters if the micro zone is working for the plant you want to grow. Now this does not work so well for veg gardens or row crops like corn. For all this to work requires a garden or forest soil that isnÂt changed, turned, etc yearly.

Some speak of looking at the sky and seeing God, which of course you do, but when you consider the soil and how immeasurably complicated and wonderful it is well that does it for me.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 11:06PM
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