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leaves in my garden

Zone blytheville arkansas 72315 zone 7 | jimbott388592 added on December 18, 2016 | Answered

I have a 20'x100' garden and have covered it with about 18" of leaves for the winter. Should I till it under, cover it with plastic, or just leave it till spring then till it under? What should I do to make it more beneficial to my garden?

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Alisma
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on December 19, 2016

18 inches is a lot of leaves to add by themselves. Leaves are heavy in carbon, and adding large amounts will deplete the soil of nitrogen, so a nitrogen source should be added to soil or composted along with large amounts of leaves:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/ingredients/browns-greens-compost.htm

I would recommend only adding 2-3 inches of leaves to the garden at a time. You can either use this as mulch until spring then till it under, in which case it will suppress weed growth, or till it under now, in which case it will break down more quickly (especially if it's shredded first) but won't suppress weeds.

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