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Can I use eucalyptus and ivy leaves for mulching  RSS feed

 
Lucy Gabzdyl
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Location: Canet lo Roig, Castellon, Spain: Mediteranean:cool wet winter, warm to hot dry summer
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Can I use eucalyptus leaves and ivy for mulching or do they have a plant growth inhibitor in them? I do also have some mimosa leaves/twigs that I have just started using. Also will the eucalyptus be ok in a hugel bed?

Thanks for any advice, still very new to permaculture, but very keen

(Oops, just noticed a whole section on mulching.)

Lucy

PS Great site and have really enjoyed loads of entries - so much information to take on board
 
Alder Burns
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Location: northern California
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If you are afraid of something harmful in the eucalyptus leaves I would pile them and compost them for a few months with water and urine. A little microbial activity should neutralize any growth inhibitors. With the ivy I would be sure it gets thoroughly dried first.....any little stem piece in contact with moisture is likely to sprout and you will have an invasion....
 
Lucy Gabzdyl
Posts: 24
Location: Canet lo Roig, Castellon, Spain: Mediteranean:cool wet winter, warm to hot dry summer
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Thanks for the advice Alder. Will make sure the ivy is completely dry! I did compost the eucalyptus leaves last year and they were fine. My problem at the moment is that I needs loads of mulching material right now, but don't have the budget to buy straw. The only things I have available are the mimosa leaves, a shed load of ivy that I need to cut back and then the eucalyptus leaves later in the year. Oh, and I forgot we do have some palm fronds. We got hit in here in southern Spain with a beetle attack that killed all the palm trees Luckily we only had the one palm. I think I noticed that geoff lawton was using palm fronds in his greening the desert programme.
 
Leila Rich
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Alder Burns wrote: With the ivy I would be sure it gets thoroughly dried first.....any little stem piece in contact with moisture is likely to sprout and you will have an invasion....

I find ivy a really difficult plant to deal with, and I'd be pretty nervous about using it.
I'd want to be sure all the stems were brown, dry and dead.
 
Lucy Gabzdyl
Posts: 24
Location: Canet lo Roig, Castellon, Spain: Mediteranean:cool wet winter, warm to hot dry summer
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Hi Leila
Thanks for the warning about the ivy. We are in for a hot summer so I'll allow them to roast in the sunlight before I even think of using them and then maybe only in the concrete raised beds I have. That way if I missed a piece it will be contained and I can easily spot it and pull it as the soil is very friable. But certainly wouldn't want it getting into the clay beds! Lucy
 
Jeffrey Hodgins
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Location: Yucatan Puebla Ontario BC
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I would find out what kind of plants are affected by the eucalyptus and see if you can use its allelopathy to your advantage as a weed control (some of your crops my be more resistant to it than others).
 
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