Leaves Compost or Not? forum: Leaves Compost or Not

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Imagestormyla
Feb 8, 2010 7:01 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
There seems to be more than one opinion on this subject. Please offer your comments and experiences here.
leaflady
Feb 10, 2010 10:47 PM CST
Name: leaflady
planet earth
Love the sinner, hate the sin
I love leaves for composting and loosening tight hard soil. If they are shredded they decompose much more rapidly. I also like leaves for bedding in the chicken/bird house. Back when I could get them I use to have up to 6" of leaves in there in the late fall and just let the chicken droppings mix with the leaves. In the spring we would clean the birdhouse and use the leaves, which by now would be partially decomposed, in the raised beds either as mulch or tilled in to loosen the soil.
Imagestormyla
Feb 10, 2010 11:00 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Thanks for dropping by, Leaflady. Yes, many of us are great proponents of using leaves to enrich the soil. I can think of nothing better than leaves for this purpose, unless it's leaves drenched in chicken poo!!

Have you visited this cubit?

http://cubits.org/Soil/forums/

The question here is whether or not it will be harmful to plants if Walnut leaves are mixed in with either your compost or mixed in with the other leaves that one shreads to mulch beds. Black Walnut leaves emit a poisonous substance called Juglone which is fatal to many plants. How long that substance stays active in leaves is probably what determines their usefulness for these purposes.
leaflady
Feb 14, 2010 5:35 PM CST
Name: leaflady
planet earth
Love the sinner, hate the sin
All parts of the blk. walnut have julone in them, but by the time you get to the leaves there isn't much. The roots have the most. A lot would depend on the sensitivity of the plants being mulched with the leaves.
Imagestormyla
Feb 14, 2010 6:40 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Thank you, leaflady.
Imagestormyla
Aug 22, 2010 11:17 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Well, it seems that all of this time I may have been separating the Black Walnut leaves needlessly. This year, I will shred and compost them.
Imagestormyla
Aug 24, 2010 2:47 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
I found an interesting article from the Fluvanna Count, Virginia master Gardeners site.

It makes mention that the Juglone in the leaves in your compost pile can actually detoxify the compost pile. This seems like it may be a harmful thing to the microherd. how do we know which organisms it will be toxic to? Food for thought. If the herbalists use the shells of the nuts for killing worms and parasites in the human colon, will the Juglone harm the worms in the compost?

http://www.fluvannamg.org/vce/2007/WalnutTrees.htm
Imagestormyla
Aug 28, 2010 2:22 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Well, I've been looking into this subject and have been finding some information, but haven't found enough to be able to sort through it all. There are those who do believe that Juglone is toxic to earth worms.
Imagestormyla
Sep 3, 2010 5:01 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
I've actually read any number of articles now that say that the Juglone that is in leaves that have fallen on the ground and are exposed to the elements can break down in as little as two weeks. The same articles mostly agree that leaves buried in a compost pile will take longer for the Juglone to break down, more like 2 months. Howewer, as in other issues regarding compost, if the pile is not turned it could take longer, 4 or 5 months for them to lose the Juglone.
Imagesheryl
Sep 27, 2010 6:14 PM CST
Name: Sheryl
Middle Tennessee, 6b
If I had enough to compost, I'd probably just make a separate pile under the tree ... I wouldn't want to take the chance. I am pretty desperate for compost in my rocky-sticky-clay soil.
Imagestormyla
Sep 27, 2010 6:20 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
I used them last year with no ill effect. Wait until you see what ZuZu has to say about it.
Imagesheryl
Sep 27, 2010 6:21 PM CST
Name: Sheryl
Middle Tennessee, 6b
Is Zuzu being a contrarian? Rolling on the floor laughing
Imagestormyla
Sep 27, 2010 6:23 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing It takes one to know one. We attract one another! Hilarious! Hilarious!
Imagesheryl
Sep 27, 2010 6:24 PM CST
Name: Sheryl
Middle Tennessee, 6b
There ya go!!! Birds of feather, and all that.

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