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Re: Articles in Pomona

In a message dated 08/01/01 9:02:42 PM, ginda@concentric.net writes:

<< Good to see you're still writing for NAFEX.  You inspired me to pull out
the bag of left-over shredded leaves from last year and mulch some odds
and ends.

I don't know about "permaculture", but I'm all for common sense and
laziness.  I used my mulching lawnmower to collect the fall leaves from
my backyard, because it's easier than raking.  Unfortunately, the trees
are mostly oaks, which limits where I can put the leaves, but I used a
lot on the blueberries and raspberries last fall.  Both are doing well. 
(The raspberries got some supplemental nitrogen, too.)  I also spread
some on the heavily limed new peonies.  It is disappearing into the soil
at a quick pace.  

Ginda Fisher >>

Hi Ginda:
    Nice to hear from you again.  Thanks for the kind words.
    Oak leaves are not so bad for anything.  When you mulch, you tend to get 
layers of varied pH, which of course affect the ones below when water leaches 
through.  But generally, plants put their roots in the layers that suit.  
Tree leaves are candy for earthworms, and you will get a big bloom in the 
population wherever you put them.  Oak leaves, especially after shredding 
with your mower, are good to use around plants that have slug problems as 
slugs are reputed to dislike travel through oak leaves.  (I've no personal 
experience--just happen to be working on a paper on the control of slugs and 
snails.)  If you are worried, put a little ground limestone, wood ash, or 
phosphate rock down before you apply the oak leaves.  I like to use raised 
beds, mulch the plants, and then cover the mulch with soil that has slumped 
into the asiles during the growing season.  You can seed directly into that.  
The layers of organic and soil and organic and soil etc., have a phenomenal 
fertility hit.   

I"m going to cc this to Jackie Kuehn in case she wants to pick any of it up 
as an item in the permaculture column.

Take care

Dan Hemenway
Barking Frogs Permaculture Center  
The protocol for our Annual Permaculture Design Course Online is at         
Our next annual Permaculture Design Course Online begins Oct. 14, 2001.  
Check the above sites for details.

A list by topic of all Yankee Permaculture titles also may be found at