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Should I not use my oak leafmould?

Devon, United Kingdom Gb

A few months ago someone on GOY said that oak leaves
are not good for making leafmould. Is that because the leaves take an age to break down or is it the end product that is undesirable?
I've been making it from Red Oak leaves for about 12 years now and it certainly takes years to become crumbly. In fact I tend to use it after two years but it isn't really ready then. Recently I shovelled up some at the bottom of the garden where I just leave the leaves to nature. The stuff is lovely and crumbly but should I not be using any of it?



Nothing wrong in using oak leaf mould or any other leaf mould for that matter, as far as I am aware.

15 Feb, 2009


I think the only problem could be that as oak leaves rot they lose their natural acidity and go slightly alkaline. Only a problem if you are growing alkaline hating plants. But the process is not *very* pronounced and the surreptitious use of a bit of peat should counteract it if it gets out of hand.


15 Feb, 2009


Here in the Woking bowl we have a majority of Oak, they fall in and around Rhododendrons and with the aid of lawn mowers they provide a very good mulch. I compost them but they are chopped up with the mower beforehand and mixed with old compost.

15 Feb, 2009


thankyou for the comments and advice. I don't use peat so is there anything else that would reduce the alkalinity?

16 Feb, 2009


The classic (and easiest) is peat but you could try flowers of sulphur to counteract the effects if your plants start to object to it.

16 Feb, 2009


Thanks Sarraceniac, I'll ask for some flowers of sulphur at the garden centre just in case.

17 Feb, 2009

How do I say thanks?

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