Use of Natural Compost

by Robert
(Between DFW and Waco Texas)

I am looking for a forum that has helpful members. My question is about natural compost/oak leaf mulch. Every time I look up compost online - I get info on making a compost bin. Okay, I've got that, but what about the natural compost happening under my oak, elm, and very few pecan trees? Mother Nature takes care of that composting for us.


When I feed the dirt in my 1800 sq ft garden, I use a mixture of 50% what I shovel up from under those trees and 50% shredded oak leaf mulch that I use my riding mower on. I mix that together with a hoe, and spread it 4 inches over my silty/clay/loam garden. I then turned it in using a shovel, wheelbarrow, and hoe. A rotiller would be nice, but I'm broke.

Anyway, my main question is about the usage of the natural mulch/compost of those trees. It is the leaves and tiny sticks of many-many years decaying. What do you think?

MEG: JEAN PAIN IS THE MASTER OF USING NATURAL MULCH, NOT JUST FOR THE GARDEN, BUT ALSO AS A NATURAL ENERGY SOURCE FOR THE HOMESTEAD.

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Dec 17, 2012
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Leaf Mold
by: Robert Bradford

I make leaf mold different than anyone I know of. I am not going to try to convince you of the value. An internet search will show this plus the main three ways it is normally made in one to three years: forest floor, bins and plastic bags. I make it in my fallow garden beds four foot wide by 64 foot long bordered on three sides by cattle panels and gated on the fourth. I pile them four foot deep with fallen leaves, grass clippings, wood cook stove ashes, weeds, kitchen scraps and, most important, chickens. We garden year round in alternate adjacent beds which are gated to keep the chickens out. One problem with leaf mold production is the time required. Due to the chickens and nitrogen from grass clippings and food scraps any six month period will produce finished or almost so leaf mold/compost. Even if it is not totally cured it can not cause a nitrogen deprivation because it is not turned under. The chickens weed, fertilize, till and remove weed seeds and any insects both there and in the adjacent garden beds. When the gardens are harvested the gates are swung 180 degrees to close the new gardens and allow the chickens into the new compost beds.

[MEG: GREAT SYSTEM... WOULD BE WONDERFUL TO SEE SOME PICS :)]

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