Leaf and grass mulch

maternut(7 west tn)November 19, 2012

Would leaves and grass, be better spread out over garden and tilled or save and use as a mulch next year? I have lots of the stuff.

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tntom(7)

I prefer to till it in. fall is a perfect time, and 2-6 inches should be composted by next spring. In TN you probably should add some lime.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 3:09PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

It's more work, but I'd throw it in the compost bin until next year and work it (It'll need air to break down) to make as much compost as possible by next spring. The compost could be worked into the soil and any leftover grass and leaves could be used as mulch. The mulch would be beneficial for nutrients as it breaks down, but would serve double-duty as a good mulch in the mean time.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 6:57PM
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Tn_Tree_Man(7A)

I agree with tntom. I would only add that lime would be a potential important amendment if you are talking about spreading it over a vegetable garden to bring the pH to more neutral.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 2:18PM
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geneo74

I also agree with tntom. Have done it both ways and when your age moves up to 81 I like to see less work with good results.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 10:11AM
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bigorangevol(Nashville)

My general rule of thumb is ...Til into in the garden and compost it for flower beds (unless you have a tiny garden).
You'd have to be Cpt. Compost to have enough compost for your garden. I love to have a dozen wheelbarrow loads of compost every year for the flower beds. My 4x4x4 compost bin yields 10-12 wheelbarrow loads each year and that stuff is so rich it's BLACK.
Norm go find a couple of truckloads of horse biscuits to till in there too. Wear gloves or Barb won't let you back in the house.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 7:46PM
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ktowngardener1333

How long does it take for a large, way over my head pile of leaves to break down? Ideally I would mulch them but I have no way to handle that many leaves.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 11:44AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Ktowngardener, maybe a few months depending on how they are handled (shredding them makes things go much faster), temperatures, etc. Adding Nitrogen (grass clippings, table scraps, chicken manure, etc) will speed things up greatly.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 7:28PM
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tntom(7)

Where do you get those biscuits? We we were a more agrarian people a load of manure from the barn was always applied to the garden every fall. Good ole days.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 6:15PM
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memphisp83

It's taken the entire winter for the leaves i raked up to even start to decompose, and I've been throwing fruit scraps and used tea/coffee in it every week or so. I keep it stirred and the very bottom layer is a black rich mixture, but I imagine once the temperature rises the rest will decompose very quickly.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 2:32PM
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