How would you store dry leaves?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Thumper/inOkla., Mar 23, 2004.

  1. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    I have been wondering how to go about saving dry leaves for use at other times of the year, animals like to munch them, leaves are good for the compost and the garden. but once the leaves are wet they are a mess to handle and not good for animals to eat.

    how would you save them up?
     
  2. diane greene

    diane greene Well-Known Member

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    We use tons of leaf mulch in our nursery. In the fall we suck up the leaves in one of those over the shoulder mulchers. We store the leaves in the heavy duty black plastic bags that contractors use. The best place to store the bags is in a barn or shed, but if the leaves are already dry you can just twist tie the bags and stack them in the woods or just out of your way.
     

  3. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    I do the opposite of diane for my leaves, which I use in the garden. I pack them into contractor bags. If they're dry, I wet them down and seal the bag tight. Then I put them right out in the open, on the edge of the woods, in sunlight all winter and spring, then I use the leaf mold in the garden as mulch through the summer.
     
  4. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    Do you know of a online source for the bags and blower so I can see them and get an idea of prices? If I could do this it would save us about $100+ year by not buying saw dust.
     
  5. Ann-NWIowa

    Ann-NWIowa Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We just mow them with the lawnmower using the bagger attachment. Chops them up nicely. Of course, you have to empty the bag every two minutes! We put them in heavy duty plastic garbage bags and pile them in the garden. We also rake them into a fenced enclosure in the garden, encourage the grandsons to jump in them to break them up some and leave for spring uncovered. We mulch the potatoes heavily with leaves so we don't have to hill them so much.
     
  6. diane greene

    diane greene Well-Known Member

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    Thumper - We have had the leaf mulcher for a few years and I don't remember where we bought it. We get the contractor bags at Lowes. We are registered as a business with them, so give us a discount and it's as cheap as purchasing wholesale.
     
  7. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    We have farm tax registered there so I will look next time, I would love to use our mower but most of the leaves are on steep slopes and in heavy under growth, which is needed as browze for the goats.

    Thanks for the ideas!
     
  8. bearkiller

    bearkiller Well-Known Member

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    Bagged dry leaves will last OK for use in the chicken house. If I'm not feeling too lazy I'll run them through the hammermill.

    Mostly I use leaves in the garden and like to turn them into leaf mold first. Easiest way I have found is to take 4 foot high fence wire...I prefer 2 X 4 non-climb "horse" wire. I take a 25 foot length of it and simply tie the ends together with the cut ends making a circle about 8 feet diameter. Two of these fit on my flatbed trailer which I take to the local fair grounds in the fall when they are doing clean-up. They have a lawn type tractor that bags up several bushels of leaves. I usually just park the trailer and when I come back it is loaded. Haul them home after tarping. To get them off the trailer I throw two nylon strap binders around each "fence" and attach them to the tractor and pull the whole mess off. Usually the leaves have been tramped down well enough that they all hold together. Then I just let the leaves age until I want to use them. Let them go too long and you'll have a nice fence ring with nothing in it.

    bearkiller
     
  9. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I have chicken wire stacks that are 5 feet tall and 2 1/2 feet in diameter anchored with metal fence posts around my property. I dump them in the top and cover them with a piece of roofing tin and wrap them with landscaping plastic and bungee cords, leaving ventilation space under the tin and at the bottom 8 inches of the stack. I also make an access door in the lower section to make harvesting easier. This ensures me a supply of dried leaves for mulch grinding for use instead of non-nutritional peat moss and I can dig under the stack to harvest high grade potting soil from the ground contact area if I want. If I need the leaves to become anerobically charged leaf mold for bin bedding, I just remove the tin cover during a rainstorm, then seal the airspace at the top to let the microbes generate
     
  10. MaKettle

    MaKettle Well-Known Member

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    I've got a vacant stall, and just toss them in there to be used during the winter for bedding. By spring stall is empty and the compost pile is full of bedding. I decided I didn't like them for horse bedding, as it is so difficult to sort the poo out of the leaves, but they are great for our assortment of poultry. Also collect curbside sacks of leaves, and am esp partial to the chopped leaves. Stack these around the garden in areas of prim use, as the sacks are paper, and don't hold together well. These need to be premouistened in the fall and allowed to clump up a bit, as our incessant wind blows them out of the garden otherwise. Loads of chopped up moist leaves have about rid the asparagus of weeds!!