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  • Mulching with Leaves?

    A question for the experts....

    I happen to have a nearly unlimited source of free oak and hickory leaves. I have heard not to mulch fig trees with whole leaves as this might attract rodents. Is it okay to mulch with shredded leaves?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    I use rolls of hay. Yea the whole roll, it will eventually deteriate and it gives rodents plenty of places to hide but decon is cheap. I also use mulch from the tree trimmers, just got about 30 loads and when our tember was cut 3 years ago the top piles are just rotted enough to start using them in the new fig house. I've allways mulched heavy and never had a problem. I do keep rat bait out In my shop and out buildings. I prefer to keep mice under control than to have an infestation.
    Nothing in the world takes the place of growing citrus till figs come along. Ray City, Ga. Zone 8 b.

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    • rg
      rg commented
      Editing a comment
      That's a really good idea. We just had some timber cut and I have some piles like that. I hadn't really thought of using that material as mulch.

  • #3
    Most any mulch is good especially if you live in a dry climate or a cold one. It saves on watering and keeps the roots cool in summer and warm in winter.
    "gene"
    Zone 9 Houma LA in the bayou land.

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    • #4
      I don't know what kind of oaks you have, but the leaves from my coast live oaks are toxic to most other plants. I have a massive amount of sycamore leaves that I use for mulch. They disintegrate very quickly, so I usually keep wood chips directly around each tree.

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      • rg
        rg commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks. I'll keep that in mind!

    • #5
      Funny my live oaks leaves do not hurt anything and the earthworms absolutely love them. I mulch heavily 6 - 8 inches deep that quickly decomposes down to about 4 inches that I try to maintain. What do I mulch? Just about everything with the figs and blueberries getting the most. My garden area where my blackberries, citrus and muscadines grow is a 90' x 110' area that is 100% mulched except for a 6" diameter ring around the citrus which are susceptible to root rot. My tropical ornamental bed is thick with leaves as is all of my Bananas. I only have one problem with leaves. I can't get enough. I go through at least a thousand bags a year probably closer to three thousand. I did some digging this year while doing irrigation lines and found that where previously I had no top soil I now have 6 - 8 inches.

      There is a tree that has a "No Competition" clause in it's DNA. It Is the Black Walnut. There are probably others.

      http://www.forestry.uga.edu/outreach...hy%2011-10.pdf

      It has a compound Hydrojuglone that in it's tissues including roots and the fallen leaves. When it oxidizes it converts to Juglone which is the toxin. It is not a common tree around here and I haven't had any problem using all the leaves I can collect EXCEPT Southern Magnolia leaves. They just don't rot very quickly and I only use them in my PawPaw tree bed.
      Darkman AKA Charles in Pensacola South of I-10 zone 8b/9a

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      • #6
        I use shredded leaves and coffee grounds. Also use wood chips from power line crews. Check this out http://www.backtoedenfilm.com/ Here also another place with lots of planting info from our friends down under, http://www.milkwood.net/
        Your right, Black Walnut wood, nuts, leaves, highly toxic. Put Black Walnut nuts into a pond and the fish go belly up.
        Art
        St Louis County, MO Z6B

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        • #7
          I had help putting out mulch. I got this pretty little girl to do the hard work.
          Nothing in the world takes the place of growing citrus till figs come along. Ray City, Ga. Zone 8 b.

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          • #8
            Your right, pretty helper, but lets be safe, where is her seat belt? I never operate my tractor without it or my roll bar, even on flat ground. Besides, the roll bar supports the canopy in the hot sunny days.
            Art
            St Louis County, MO Z6B

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            • #9
              I said I used mulch but I use what comes along. Here is what I have collected in the last few mouths. Hay on the right and ground up limbs on the left. Please don't think that I am a hoarder, I'm really a nice person with a problem. I guess
              Nothing in the world takes the place of growing citrus till figs come along. Ray City, Ga. Zone 8 b.

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