gum tree leaves in no dig garden

by Cherrida Hardaker
(Bulli, New South Wales, Australia)

are gum tree leaves suitable for the bottom layer of a no dig garden?

Comments for gum tree leaves in no dig garden

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Dec 23, 2012
Gum Leaves in No-Dig
by: Kiwi George

Hi Cherrida. My experience with gum leaves is that they take ages to break down in a compost heap but this may be useful in the drainage bottom layer in a No-Dig role. I have used pine needles in my compost heaps but they also take ages to break down and I have been told by another "No-Digger" that the "Terpenes" (which are the main ingredient in turpentine)are not beneficial for plants so I now use them as weed suppressors on my garden pathways. As Gum leaves take ages to break down they may have some similar chemical compound which is not the best for plants but after over ten years of very successful No_Dig gardening, my philosophy with new ideas is "emperical determination (suck it and see.
Good luck
Kiwi George

Jan 27, 2013
Gum leaves
by: Ozzy

Absolutely right! Those leaves will hang around like a hot day forever, years in fact. If you put them in a thick layer they might form a pan and stop drainage. Gum leaves don't have much nutrient value, so that's why they don't rot so well, therefore add lots of other stuff, especially manure, nitrogen greens and some small twigs and bark.

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