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burning leaves in garden



 
 
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  #1  
Old 10-05-2003, 06:44 PM
[email protected]
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Default burning leaves in garden

I have a lot of trees. Those trees have alot of leaves.. I am
fortunate to live in a town that not only allows, but encourages leaf
burning. My question is this.. does the ash left from the leaves
have any value in the garden? I know too many leaves can cause the
ground to become acidic, but what about the ash left from burning
them? Is it possible to put too much on?

Last fall, I put mulched leaves on, and put lime on this spring. I
also spread rabbit manure (with a bit of straw bedding mixed in) and
tilled it under about 3 weeks before planting.. I only planted last
week, so I don't really know the results yet.

I'n new at this, and mostly going off hints from others... thanks for
your help..

dave
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2003, 11:20 AM
Jason Quick
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Default burning leaves in garden

[posted & mailed]

"Dave Allyn (Dave Allyn)" wrote :

I have been mulching and turning under, but I also have ALOT of ash..
my ash pile (and you know how leaves burn down) is about 10 feet by 40
feet, and about 6 inches deep. the amount of leaves before hand is
about 10 X 40 X 3 feet deep, and I make 4 or 5 of them a year....


That is one hell of a leaf pile, my friend. My recommendation is something
that's worked quite well for me:

Get thee to a hardware store or home center and buy a leaf blower/vacuum.
Now, you may have only marginal use for a leaf blower, but that's not what
we're after here. We're after the vacuum function. Gas or electric -
whichever trips yer trigger.

The beauty of this appliance is that you can turn a Big-Ass Pile O' Leaves
(tm) into Teeny Leaf Bits (also TM) in short order. Those bits can then be
used as mulch, compost heap fuel, soil amendment - whatever.

A tip - give the leaves a brief spray with the hose before you start
snorting them up, else the leaf dust (and the dust *on* the leaves) will
cause you to hack up nasty stuff for days afterward.

Alternately, you could buy one of them leaf-shredding things and have at it.
But those (rather over $100) are a lot more expensive than my cheapo leaf
blower option ($50-75). For big fun, buy a chipper / shredder. That will
take care of yer deadwood *and* leaves.

Jason


  #8  
Old 12-05-2003, 02:56 PM
Norma Briggs
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Default burning leaves in garden


Get thee to a hardware store or home center and buy a leaf blower/vacuum.
Now, you may have only marginal use for a leaf blower, but that's not what
we're after here. We're after the vacuum function. Gas or electric -
whichever trips yer trigger.


I bought a combo blower/vac/mulcher-electric at Home Depot recently for
$69.00-best money I ever spent. You should see how my kids laugh at me when
I am "vacuuming" the back yard...lol.




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  #9  
Old 12-05-2003, 03:20 PM
simy1
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Default burning leaves in garden

wrote in message ...
I have a lot of trees. Those trees have alot of leaves.. I am
fortunate to live in a town that not only allows, but encourages leaf
burning. My question is this.. does the ash left from the leaves
have any value in the garden? I know too many leaves can cause the
ground to become acidic, but what about the ash left from burning
them? Is it possible to put too much on?

Last fall, I put mulched leaves on, and put lime on this spring. I
also spread rabbit manure (with a bit of straw bedding mixed in) and
tilled it under about 3 weeks before planting.. I only planted last
week, so I don't really know the results yet.

I'n new at this, and mostly going off hints from others... thanks for
your help..

dave


Wood ash is 0/1.5/8 with a pH of 10.4. Leaf ash is going to be about
the same. I am shocked that you have to lime when all that ash can do
just as good a job.
I lime my own garden with wood ash.

When you take away leaves, you do three things to the trees, all bad.
Decaying leaves are the largest source of N for the trees, the organic
matter improves nutrient absorption, and the leaves mulch the forest
floor, diminishing the competition for trees. They also tend to make
the forest soil mildly acidic, the condition most trees prefer. Long
term your trees will weaken and die off. In my neighborhood it is
happening now, after roughly 25 years of leaf removal (none of my
trees have died though, I also give them wood chips mulch). I mow my
own leaves in the fall, and leave them there. I have mostly shade
ground covers where the trees are. And I use my neighbor's leaves for
the garden.
  #10  
Old 12-05-2003, 08:20 PM
Dave Allyn
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Default burning leaves in garden

On Mon, 12 May 2003 13:35:32 GMT, "Norma Briggs"
wrote:


Get thee to a hardware store or home center and buy a leaf blower/vacuum.
Now, you may have only marginal use for a leaf blower, but that's not what
we're after here. We're after the vacuum function. Gas or electric -
whichever trips yer trigger.


I bought a combo blower/vac/mulcher-electric at Home Depot recently for
$69.00-best money I ever spent. You should see how my kids laugh at me when
I am "vacuuming" the back yard...lol.


I have a torro I use now. I'm not as impressed with the vacuum part
as I am with the blower, but that is what I use to mulch the leaves I
put on the garden now. My problem is more of an amount issue. To
gather and burn takes about 3 days (me and my wife) to mulch the same
amount would take closer to 2 weeks.

mulching with the mower isn't an option either. I did that one year,
and then had to rake up the mulch the next spring when it was killing
the grass (it was 1-2 inches thick all over the yard) My yard is
almost all trees, and I live on a corner lot, so I get alot of the
neighbors leaves. I still mulch some for the flower beds, etc, but
I still have alot of leaves left over....

thanks for your help..
dave
  #11  
Old 14-05-2003, 07:08 PM
Dave Allyn
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Default burning leaves in garden

Wood ash is 0/1.5/8 with a pH of 10.4. Leaf ash is going to be about
the same. I am shocked that you have to lime when all that ash can do
just as good a job.
I lime my own garden with wood ash.


I guess that is some of my confusion. I have always heard Leaves will
make your soil (or compost) acidic. I had thought that Lime was
alkiline and would therefore combat the acid from the leaves... then,
I had someone tell me that lime is neutral, and would remove acid or
alki. Now it sounds like lime is acid....

what does lime do??




email: daveallyn at bwsys dot net
please respond in this NG so others
can share your wisdom as well!
  #12  
Old 14-05-2003, 10:20 PM
Aaron Baugher
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Default burning leaves in garden

"Dave Allyn" (Dave Allyn) writes:

I guess that is some of my confusion. I have always heard Leaves will
make your soil (or compost) acidic. I had thought that Lime was
alkiline and would therefore combat the acid from the leaves... then,
I had someone tell me that lime is neutral, and would remove acid or
alki. Now it sounds like lime is acid....


what does lime do??


Lime and ashes both raise pH, reducing acidity. I think people get
confused because lime the fruit is very acidic, while lime the crushed
stone is just the opposite. It used to confuse me, anyway.

Lime (calcium carbonate) also adds calcium, which could be beneficial
to calcium rich plants like tomatoes and broccoli. Ashes add
potassium and phosphorus, two other important nutrients. (Most
commercial fertilizers are a mixture of nitrogen, potassium, and
phosphorus.) So ideally, you'd want to apply both, or get a soil test
and see which one would be more beneficial for your soil.

Soil generally becomes more acidic over time, especially when nitrogen
fertilizers, including manure and green mulch, are used. So you're
much more likely to need to raise the pH of your soil than lower it.

If you plan to grow acid-loving plants like potatoes, you may want to
leave a section of the garden un-limed or -ashed, so those plants can
have the acid soil they prefer.


--
Aaron


  #13  
Old 15-05-2003, 01:32 AM
James Mayer
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Default burning leaves in garden

"Norma Briggs" wrote in message m...
Get thee to a hardware store or home center and buy a leaf blower/vacuum.
Now, you may have only marginal use for a leaf blower, but that's not what
we're after here. We're after the vacuum function. Gas or electric -
whichever trips yer trigger.


I bought a combo blower/vac/mulcher-electric at Home Depot recently for
$69.00-best money I ever spent. You should see how my kids laugh at me when
I am "vacuuming" the back yard...lol.


Yeah, The Black and Decker Leaf Hog is great. I got the dodad
that fits over a garbage can too and mulch them into there and then
distribute them to the rows and plants.
  #14  
Old 15-05-2003, 04:44 AM
Norma Briggs
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Default burning leaves in garden


Yeah, The Black and Decker Leaf Hog is great. I got the dodad
that fits over a garbage can too and mulch them into there and then
distribute them to the rows and plants.


WOW ....they make a doo dad that fits over the garbage can? So cool...I must
have one!

BTW: don't laugh, but leaf blowers are great for dusting...esp. behind that
entertainment center you cant move...hehe..


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  #15  
Old 15-05-2003, 01:08 PM
simy1
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Default burning leaves in garden

"Dave Allyn" (Dave Allyn) wrote in message ...
Wood ash is 0/1.5/8 with a pH of 10.4. Leaf ash is going to be about
the same. I am shocked that you have to lime when all that ash can do
just as good a job.
I lime my own garden with wood ash.


I guess that is some of my confusion. I have always heard Leaves will
make your soil (or compost) acidic. I had thought that Lime was
alkiline and would therefore combat the acid from the leaves... then,
I had someone tell me that lime is neutral, and would remove acid or
alki. Now it sounds like lime is acid....

what does lime do??



Lime increases the pH of the soil (is alkaline). A neutral pH is 7. In
your woodland, pH is within one unit of 5.3 probably. Wood ash
increases the pH and returns the potassium to the soil. If you know
what you are doing, there is never a situation where lime is
preferrable to ash. You do not have to combat acidity under trees
because they like it that way.

Leaves are acidic, but ash is alkaline. The acid components of leaves
go up in smoke.
 




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