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I hear you on the waste issue; it's all mindset, really...

Thanks for thre clarification...

Scott

opabinia51
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Maple leaves: Calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphrorus, Nitrogen

Both sugar and red maple contain these nutrients but, sugar maples are higher in calcium and red maples are higher Magnesium.

Also note: Beech leaves have a pH or 5.08 which is somewhat acidic.

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I'll stick to cow and horse manure over human. Great ratios to know tho!

Oh and I have two sugar maple trees - great to know their info too!

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Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Nitrogen
American Beech: 0.99/0.22/0.65/0.10/0.67
White Ash: 2.37/0.27/0.54/0.15/0.63
White Oak: 1.36/0.24/0.52/0.13/0.65
E. Hemlock: 0.68/0.14/0.27/0.07/1.05
Balsam Fir: 1.12/0.16/0.12/0.09/1.25


Pound for pound, the leaves of most trees contain twice of many minerals as manure. Furthermore, the humus building qualities of leaves also means improved soil structure and increased water holding capacity.

When composting leaves a mixture of 5 parts leaves to one part manure will aid in the decompostion of the leaves. If manure is not available dried blood, cotton seed meal, bone meal and argrinite are other sources of nitrogen. Add two cups of blood meal or other natural Nitrogen supplement to one wheel barrel of leaves.

Be sure to turn your heap every 3 weeks at least. You can also simply spread the leaves over your garden and spread the greens (Nitrogen activators) over the leaves. No turning needed.

Also, for those who live in a wet climate (like I do) cover you leaf pile (and compost pile) with a plastic sheet to keep excess rain out. This will ensure that soluble nutrients are not leached from the pile

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A lot less soluables in compost compared to chemical though...

opabinia51
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And that is a good thing. With synthetics, all of the nutrients are water soluble and therefore, at the first rain, most of the nutrients are washed away.

Also, with synthetics, the plants have no way to regulate when they get and how much of a certain nutrient that they get. With humus, plants secrete small amounts of base to release nutrients from the humus. With synthetics, the plant all of the sudden gets a huge wash of nutrients causing it to grow uncontrollably

I have changed the word "ACID" to "BASE" in the previous paragraph because humus (amongst other lovely constituents) is slightly acidic due to the presence of HUMIC ACID. Sorry for any confusion
Last edited by opabinia51 on Fri Nov 25, 2005 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Linden Tree (Tilia americanus): Nitrogen, Calcium, Magnesium and
Potassium are contained in the
leaves.

I collect these lovely leaves off of my Universty campus. I'm happy to see that they are loaded with nutrients for the soil.

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Tilia americanus is known as basswood in these parts (Linden always refers to the European species that have been here for a few hundred years) Takes FAR more soggy conditions than the Euro types; often found right on a stream or pond...

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Yes, I came across the term Basswood while researching the leaf nutrient contents. The Head Gardener here at UVIC gave me the common name of Linden Tree and that made researching the nutrients of the (more likely basswood variety) a little touch and go. Though, according to my research they are both the same species.
Perhaps (and I am just speculating here) they may be designated as subspecies of eachother. But, they do both (or at least according to the article where I retrieved the data from) appear to have the same nutrient content in their leaves.

N Ca Mg and K

For people's information: Tiliaceae is the basswood family and the leaves are epiphytic. In other words the Tiliaceae grow in association with another species.

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Our city has planted hundreds of Lindens down our city streets and walkways. They are a very fast growing, low maintenance, but graceful tree.
Opa, I am not sure how you mean they are epiphytic? My understanding of a plant that is epiphytic is a plant which naturally grows upon another plant but does not derive any nourishment from it. How does this fit with this situation? :?
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

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I copied the phrase from the paper that I read. I believe that they are referring to the fact that the leaves grow on a plat that is itself an epiphyte. And from the definition that I know of epiphytic plants, the actual so called host; does not have to be another plant.

Hope that clerifies things for you.

(You may wish to rake up some of those leaves, that is what I have been doing around my campus. Great for the compost, and you don't have to go over them with the lawn mower.)

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Opa, in everything I have ever read regarding epiphytics it is used in the context of a plant living on another plant. The term stems from the Greek epi- (meaning 'upon') and phyton (meaning 'plant') and the definition given in the Merriam Webster Dictionary states "living on the surface of plants"
But anyway, I still don't understand how a Linden tree can be an epiphytic? I have only known them to be mosses, lichens, orchids, etc.
I'm confused - can you tell? :?
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

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Must admit to a bit of confusion here as well. My experience is mostly bromeliads and lichens here... :?

HG

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Well, I'll find the article again and get back to you on this topic. Sound like a plan?

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Sounds wonderful! 8)
VAL
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opabinia51
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Here are the layers in the sheet compost in my garden so far;

Fall Rye (turned into the soil)
Tilia (Linden Tree) Leaves
Horse Manure
Tilia (Linden Tree) Leaves and Apple Leaves
Coffee Grounds
Maple, cottonwood and Tilia (Linden Tree) Leaves
Seaweed (not totally covered yet)
Maple and Apple leaves
Chicken Manure in areas that I will not be planting corn and potatoes
Horse manure in the areas that I will be planting the corn, potatoes, squash and beans (The "Trinity" plus one)
Finally, I seeded the surface area of manure with a mix of Fall Rye, peas and Vetch. Then, I planted a 1 kg bag of FAVA beans. Next year, I'll do at least two of those bags, maybe four.

I also added a tonne of Maple leaves to my leaf mold pile yesterday. The hot compost pile that has now gone cold continues to recieve any weeds that I pull up (though, with all those layers of compostables; there aren't to many weeds) and any spent plants like the squash plants.

Last year, my sheet mulch was about a foot in height and this past spring there was only about an inch of compost left after 7 months of composting. My hope is that I will have more of the good stuff this spring.

The plan is to have the rest of the seaweed in this week and pile leaves on top of that and finally place chicken manure over the leaves in the non corn/potatoe area and horse manure in the corn/potatoe area (where squash and beans will be planted as well).
Atop all that good stuff I am going to plant fava beans and a seed mix of 70% Fall Rye, 20% Peas and 10% Vetch. That should be really good because the beans, peas and vetch are all Legumes and will be aiding nitrogen fixing bacteria in doing their magic.

And I will have nice buttery beans to eat next spring.

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So yes, put the rest of the seaweed on my garden Friday night and put the final layer of leaves and then all the manure (650 pounds of chicken manure and .... a lot of horse manure) atop the leaves yesterday.

The cover crop is planted and all I have to do now is continue adding leaves to my leaf mold pile and cold compost pile. Not to mention turn the two.

The big bonus of sheet composting is that you don't have to turn it and you also don't have to spread it in the spring.

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For peoples information, I had about a foot, maybe a bit less of soil when I turned the rye into the soil this past spring. My entire garden is growing like a weed.

I'm locking this thread for the time being as it is a bit long.

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