Hi Marie here

baymule

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Some of the prettiest potatoes I ever grew was in a pile of leaves mixed with horse manure and lime. The lime was to keep scale off the potatoes from the horse manure. My husband thought I was nuts, but what else is new?

I paid the kids next door $20 to rake all the leaves over to our property line (this at our old house in town). I had a HUGE pile, then dragged DH out to our horse pasture to get a half of a pick up load of horse manure that we mixed with the leaves, sprinkled with lime. I watered it all in and let it set for a couple of months. That pile grew the biggest and prettiest potatoes! Who's nuts now?
 

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Every fall, we drive to a town in the next county to bring back a couple truck loads of bagged leaves. I had a great time last fall, b/c we went before the fall rains and cold weather turned the leaves into a soggy/icy mess. Usually, they don't fall until the weather turns cold and wet... but last fall, we hit it just right. Leaves were nice and dry, crispy. I usually go in stealth mode, when most folks are off working. But, we went on a Saturday, beautiful day, and a lot of folks were out raking their yards. So, every time we stopped at a "good yard", I would hop out of the truck, and have a bit of a visit with the home owners. They were happy to visit, b/c every one is going stir crazy with the covid plandemic foolishness, and they were even more happy to have me take their leaves. We got 2 truck loads and 1 trailer load. More than 40 bags will carry me through till lawn mowing season. After the leaves do their job in chicken coop, duck house, chicken run, they will be somewhat or completely composted, and put to work in the garden. Hopefully, there will be a few bags of unused leaves left for garden mulch.

I love the idea of using leaves mixed with bedding to grow potatoes! My duck bedding would be perfect for that, b/c duck poo is not too hot, and can be used in the garden "as is".
 

Marie2020

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Some of the prettiest potatoes I ever grew was in a pile of leaves mixed with horse manure and lime. The lime was to keep scale off the potatoes from the horse manure. My husband thought I was nuts, but what else is new?

I paid the kids next door $20 to rake all the leaves over to our property line (this at our old house in town). I had a HUGE pile, then dragged DH out to our horse pasture to get a half of a pick up load of horse manure that we mixed with the leaves, sprinkled with lime. I watered it all in and let it set for a couple of months. That pile grew the biggest and prettiest potatoes! Who's nuts now?
Really clever idea!

I haven't got access to any good leaves. I'll have to wait too see if this straw and wood chips will help. I got some good roots of red potatoes from a local farm with no chemicals. So want to find a way asap. I've lost loads of good seeded pots trying too work this out. :oops:

However I do have chicken poops. Wanna buy some? I'll give you a good price ;)
 

Marie2020

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Every fall, we drive to a town in the next county to bring back a couple truck loads of bagged leaves. I had a great time last fall, b/c we went before the fall rains and cold weather turned the leaves into a soggy/icy mess. Usually, they don't fall until the weather turns cold and wet... but last fall, we hit it just right. Leaves were nice and dry, crispy. I usually go in stealth mode, when most folks are off working. But, we went on a Saturday, beautiful day, and a lot of folks were out raking their yards. So, every time we stopped at a "good yard", I would hop out of the truck, and have a bit of a visit with the home owners. They were happy to visit, b/c every one is going stir crazy with the covid plandemic foolishness, and they were even more happy to have me take their leaves. We got 2 truck loads and 1 trailer load. More than 40 bags will carry me through till lawn mowing season. After the leaves do their job in chicken coop, duck house, chicken run, they will be somewhat or completely composted, and put to work in the garden. Hopefully, there will be a few bags of unused leaves left for garden mulch.

I love the idea of using leaves mixed with bedding to grow potatoes! My duck bedding would be perfect for that, b/c duck poo is not too hot, and can be used in the garden "as is".
Thanks so much for this info. :)
 

flowerbug

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i won't accept leaves that others have raked from a lawn in town simply because i have gotten way too much rash in them and it ends up being more work to get all that out of there. :( until i have vetted the material and the collector of that material i won't accept it.
 

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Marie, I'll not use straw in my garden. Here, in the states, it is most likely to be contaminated with glyphosphates or other herbicides. Some of the new generation herbicides can poison your soil for DECADES. If you see curled/crinkled leaves or lack of growth after using straw, that could be your problem. I believe @CrealCritter poisoned his garden when he used some contaminated compost or manure on a garden spot. Perhaps he'll weigh in. I use hay from a local farmer, and am actually pleased to see it loaded with weeds. In spite of my long standing experience with him, I ask him, every single season if he's haying any fields that have been herbicide treated.
C R A P - never thought of that - it goes for hay as well, doesn't it? Or does it, or do you have to know where it is coming from? I mean, not only am I feeding my bunnies coastal hay that I have no idea where it came from but I also just mulched my precious (to me) new bamboo plants with it.
 

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I would never use straw for the stated reasons, and I only get hay from a farmer who lives a few miles from me. If I was offered free mulch hay, I would most likely accept it but do a trial with it before using it in chicken coop or on garden or my land. It would be easy to condition a bale and do a hay bale garden to test it... or even to soak some hay in a bucket of water, then use that water on some test plants.
 

Hinotori

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The spraying wheat thing boggles my mind. I grew up in a dryland wheat farming area. Soft white winter wheat is a main crop. Fields are tilled around September and the wheat planted. Then it's pretty much ignored until summer harvest. There is just enough moisture over winter and spring to get it there. 9 inches of rain a year and irrigation isn't possible on the land used.

The straw we get here is from the east side of the state where it's grown like that. Wheat is not grown on this side except up in a small area in the rainshadow of the Olympics. Same for alfalfa.

Well alfalfa just won't dry here. Local hay is grass and there is only one cutting a year. It's only dry and hot enough for that. People have a month window to get that grass cut at max. The whatever grows 2 string bales run between $3 and $6. No one does anything to the fields.
 
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