Tilling leaves into my Indiana organic garden

Danville, IN

I remember reading some years ago that when tilling shreaded leaves into the soil that an additive should be added to the soil but I don't remember what it was. Can anyone help me?

Windsor, CT(Zone 6a)

If they're oak leaves, a bit of lime may be in order. It all depends on your soil pH. Get a soil test, and maybe call up your local Agricultural Experiment Station, and see what they think.

Bloomington, IN(Zone 6a)

Yes. A bit of lime since most leaves are an acidic amendment. I usually skip this step. I too live in Indiana and soils are alkaline to begin with. Leaves are a great addition and stimulate soil life (worms) and lighten the heavy clay soil I am cursed with. Good luck.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Whoa now...if Indiana soil is already alkaline the last thing you want to do is add lime to it, raising the pH even more. It's good you skip that step, INgardener

Notlazy, if you've tilled under your leaves and are planning on planting in it soon you may be thinking of adding some nitrogen to offset the nitrogen tie-up that will happen as the leaves break down. If you can tell us what you plan on doing with the garden in the immediate future that will help with giving more definitive answers.

Happy Gardening!

Danville, IN

I've tilled in shredded leaves (and half-rotted straw) for years, mostly maple and ash, with never a problem. When planting in the spring, I add a handful of alfalfa pellets into every planting hole. Even oak leaves won't give you a problem in our alkaline soils. I'd advise against adding any lime.

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