• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Using olive tree leaves as mulch?  RSS feed

 
Yann Trab
Posts: 1
Location: Lebanon
bike trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It's olive harvesting season here in the Mediterranean. The olive mills are on full blast, and are producing huge piles of olive leaves that they consider "waste". They basically told us to come load them up in our truck whenever we wanted.

I was wondering if it would be safe to use them as mulch in a forest garden. The leaves are slightly coated with olive oil, and I heard that the oil is antibacterial? Could it inhibit the growth of trees and other plants?

But would it be wise to let the pile sit and decompose for a while before applying it as mulch? Or would it have no effect on plants if used fresh?


 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 3136
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
254
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What a windfall!

You can use the leaves as is if you choose, you can turn them into leaf mold just by piling them up and keeping them moist or you can compost them.

Using leaves as is only means you need to keep them moist until they matt enough to not be blown away by the wind. The slight amount of oil won't really be a problem.
If you are worried about the antimicrobial properties of olive oil, then these next two methods would relieve those concerns.
Turning them into leaf mold is pretty fast and easy and they will stay put much better than fresh leaves plus there will be bacteria and fungi growing in the material which will seep to the soil and populate the soil which will make it better and better.
Turning them into compost takes more time and needs additions of other materials but increases the bacteria and fungi to the point that an entire micro biome can be introduced where you use the end product.

All are good choices but are dependent upon what you want the leaves to do for your garden/ orchard spaces.

Redhawk
 
I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam - the great philosopher Popeye. Tiny ad:
Video of all the permaculture design course and appropriate technology course (about 177 hours)
https://permies.com/wiki/65386/paul-wheaton/digital-market/Video-PDC-ATC-hours-HD
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!