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How to turn shreaded leaf mulch into seeding soil  RSS feed

 
Melody Sharma
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In spring I thought I could save money on buying seeding soil and create my own using leaf compost mixed with worm castings . Unfortunately the leaf compost I received from the local county compost turned out to be leaf mulch instead. Now I have a truck load of mulch which I hope to convert into soil for next year. The mulch also has a fair amount of pine needles too so i'm guessing it is acidic. I have access to horse manure, wood ash and a biweekly supply of chicken droppings. What do I do?
 
Miles Flansburg
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Howdy Melody welcome to permies! And welcome to the world of composting!

Sounds like you might do worm composting?

Have you done any compost piles before?

Here is a whole section of the forum about compost. http://www.permies.com/forums/f-72/composting
 
Melody Sharma
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I have done bin vermicomposting and I thought of doing the same for the pile too but I was wondering should I be adding something to make it a good seeding soil?
 
Robert Eiffert
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You're wanting to make seed starter soil, right (http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/blend-your-own-seed-starting-mix)?

The leaves should decompose just fine by composting with either the horse manure (slower, esp if not fresh) or chicken droppings.

IF the chicken droppings are pure, ie, scrapped off the floor of their roost, I'd start with about a shovel full to 4-6 shovels of leaf material. That would need to be kept well aerated, and well watered and would benefit from having a couple of shovels full of good garden soil to keep it from becoming matted down.

OR maybe put the leaves under their roosting area and just add to the pile about weekly (depending on how many chickens / sq. ft.)

IF the droppings are on straw or hay bedding, I'd add about 30 - 40% leaf material to that mix. Again, keep well aerated and watered.

If the horse manure is mostly from stalls with bedding, I THINK you'd want to use less leaf material, but I don't have as much experience composting w horse manure.

Then, once aged and screened, you'd be ready to add the rest of the mix ingredients. Remember that your seeds have food to start the plants, the mix is there for the moisture and support until the true leaves come.
 
Melody Sharma
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Thankyou for the replies, I'm actually establishing a new garden on a plot and decided to use the mulch as a lasagna layering and adding worms to it to create a a worm beds which would eventually turn in to garden bed for next year, I'm also going to use it int the chicken coop in place of the straw i am currently using. let us see how it works!
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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