Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Will just leaves work?

Jeremy asks:

I have the makings of my first lasagna garden.  I have knee deep leaves, which were chopped up in a lawn vacuum device,  my concern is, I missed the step where I was supposed to add the manure.  Am I in trouble?  I have been adding my kitchen scraps(not meat related).  Is there something I need to do?

My thoughts:

Look at my composting handout from here.  You need mostly carbon (leaves) and some nitrogen ingredients in a deep mulch Lasagna garden.  You don't have to use livestock manure.  I have not grown in pure leaves, so I don't know.

I am coming to the conclusion that not as much nitrogen is needed in a deep mulch garden as is recommended for soil based gardens.  (I think there may be microbes fixing N from the air.) 

Last summer, one school garden had 12" leaf mold and 3-4" of hay on top and that was their garden--it grew really well. 

Watch your plants, you can add fish emulsion or blood meal during the growing season for a quick N fix, if they look like they need it.

Good luck,


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