Mike Jay wrote:Fall leaves area tremendous resource. One thing I do is put the contents of about 100 leaf bags in my enclosed chicken run. They scratch through it all winter and poop on it. Come March (for my climate) it starts to compost and by early summer I move it out to the garden to sit for a month before putting it on the garden.
Tina Hillel wrote:Most of my leaves are handled the same way as Mike's are. The chickens love them.
Part of them are used around the base of my blackberry and blueberry bushes. We have to put cages around the base of the plants to keep the leaves in place because the birds will just scratch everything back out while free ranging. Last year, we did leaves around half the plants. It made a surprising difference in their health and growth, so this year all the plants are getting the leaf treatment.
I dont know what made the difference for the plants. Maybe because it protected the roots from scratching, gave extra warmth and nutrients and gave worms a place to hide? Probably the combination. Whatever the reason, it paid off.
s. ayalp wrote:"use fall leaves to prepare areas for future plantings"
Definetly yes! Meanwhile you can plant garlic in fall-winter, potatoes for spring-summer. 25-30 cm (1ft) thick layer of fall leaves is ideal cover for garlic. You can also harvest long whitish-green garlic shoots, if you like them. I believe "one yard revolurion" guy (youtube) made videos about growing soil by fall leaves while having some good potato harvests.
Compost? Fall leaves are good candidates for brown material.
If you do compost stuff between raised beds (lile throwing weeds, prunes and etc out of beds into paths), fall leaves are ideal. Fill the pathways with fall leaves, no weeds, no mud and no work compost in the following years.
Richard Gorny wrote:Every year I add a few square meters to my garden by using fallen leaves. I usually start with other organic matter in early Autumn (kitchen wastes, old hay) followed by fallen leaves just before first frost.
Nicole Alderman wrote:I didn't know we had a third native maple tree here! I have vine maples and big leaf maples, but I'm pretty sure I don't have any Douglas maples. I'll have to keep my eyes out to see if I can spot these other maples!
Thimbleberries are some of my favorite plants. I have a patch that's gottten so thick that I keep digging up some and transplanting them into my predominantly-salmonberry hedges for some more diversity, tasty berries, and a longer season of berries. (I'm pretty sure the only reason salmonberries get eaten is because they're the first berry ripe, LOL!)
Dustin Liljenquist wrote:I have lots of apple trees and several very large cottonwood trees. The leaves and a bunch of the fallen apples get raked up and used for winter chicken and pig bedding. The leaves get rooted and scratched through all winter turning them into great mulch come spring. I don't know who loves the apples more, the pig or the chickens. The previous owner of this property would haul off the leaves and fallen apples and go buy winter feed and bedding to use for the animals...
Daron Williams wrote:Looking forward to the pic Mike! The non-profit I work for has the policy of attaching pink or orange flagging tape to all of our field equipment (cameras, shovels, other tools...) - makes it all a bit easier to find in the field.