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Post  rod champion on 1/20/2012, 4:01 pm

Can you plant directly into Black Gold? How will the plants reacte?

Thank you in advance?

Rod
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Post  staf74 on 1/20/2012, 4:21 pm

Hi Rod,

What Black Gold are you referring to?

Some refer to that as slang for worm castings and/or straight compost.
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Post  rod champion on 1/20/2012, 5:08 pm

It is composted leaves. All leaves- totally compost.

Thanks
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Post  staf74 on 1/20/2012, 5:54 pm

I'm afraid I can't help you out but I did look a little online and found a very good discussion on another forum that covers the topic....

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/soil/msg0212451710993.html

Hope this helps Very Happy
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Post  boffer on 1/20/2012, 6:05 pm

Staf, your link left me totally confused! Nobody could agree about anything. When I read threads like that, I have to offer a silent toast to Mel for making my gardening so easy! Leaves are always 1 of my 5 or 6 composts in my MM.
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Post  plantoid on 1/20/2012, 6:11 pm

@rod champion wrote:Can you plant directly into Black Gold? How will the plants reacte?

Thank you in advance?

Rod

I'd treat ( and am treating ) it as peat for use in my all new squarefoot gardens ( all 20 beds ) I'm adding , the composted manures & vermiculite


From what I have seen where I have obtained my leaf mould , the massive mound that was bulldozed up many years ago has sprouted dandilions, couch grass and a few thistles but little else so I suspect it is almost devoid of useful nutrients ...

There are nettles growing close by but not on the leaf mould heap ..this leads me to suspect that the mould is rather low in acid , for nettles love & thrive in an acid soil .
I've found over the years that if you can grow nettles on your patch , you can grow most other veg and flowers etc.
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Post  staf74 on 1/20/2012, 10:51 pm

Staf, your link left me totally confused! Nobody could agree about anything.

LOL......told you I couldn't help you out Rod, apparently I may have just muddied the waters for you.
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Post  rod champion on 1/21/2012, 10:03 am

Staf -

Thank you so much for taking time to help me out. What I got out of it was that it will start plants for does not have enough nutrients to feed them well.

Thank you,

Rod
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Post  staf74 on 1/21/2012, 10:45 am

Phew....thanks Rod.

Its hard for me to give any true advice on anything other than strict Mel's Mix because I just don't know of a better growing medium. Its what I know, believe and have experience in but I'm glad we have a use for leaf compost for you here at SFG seeing as Boffer uses it as one of his composts Very Happy
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Post  plantoid on 1/21/2012, 11:17 am

@rod champion wrote:Staf -

Thank you so much for taking time to help me out. What I got out of it was that it will start plants for does not have enough nutrients to feed them well.

Thank you,

Rod

From what I've been researching today ......from several differing techinical sources .
Because of our difficulties in getting peat or coir in large quantities ......

True composted leaves that have progressed in the sequence from composted leaves to become Leaf Mould is a substitute for peat moss or coir , it has fantastic water retention properties better than peat or coir & is excellent for bulking soil out to make the soil lighter but little else as most of the nutrients will have been washed out after a couple of years .

There were several references to using root free leaf mould mixed with composted manures , especially commercial composted chicken pelleted manure at around 6 LM to one CM for starting seedlings and potting on.
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Post  rod champion on 1/21/2012, 5:11 pm

It sure holds water... I have a good bit of horse manure mixed with chips- good and rotted stuff. These horses ate good. This stuff is golden. If there ever was a beautiful manure .. this would qualify. I will mix it all in.
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Post  Unmutual on 1/22/2012, 9:05 am

Starting seeds in compost usually ends up with your seedlings damping off(shriveling up, browning of stems and generally dying at a young age...it's a symptom of a few fungal diseases). You're trying to get fungus to grow within the compost to break down the leaves, I'd assume seed starting in it would not be a good idea.

However, and this is where my confusion comes in: what you pretty much have is humus from a forest floor...where seeds start growing in nature all the time. Best thing I can tell you is to experiment, and please report your findings so others can know too(I'm personally interested).

These are sites that say to use peat moss(what just about everyone uses for seed starting) OR leaf mould in the potting mixture.

http://permaculture-and-sanity.com/pcarticles/starting-plants-from-seed.php

http://www.planetnatural.com/site/starting-seed.html

This last link shows a potting soil recipe that includes leaf mould. However, starting seeds in 100% compost tends to kill off seedlings, but not in a blend along with peat and vermiculite. The recipe has leaf mould as PART of it, not 100%:

http://www.extension.org/pages/20982/organic-potting-mix-basics

scroll a little more than halfway down(below that picture of a recipe).

Organic seedling mix (Biernbaum, 2001)


  • 10 gallon of 2 year old leaf mold, sifted
  • 10 gallons of sifted compost
  • 5–10 gallons of sphagnum peat
  • 5 gallons of perlite
  • 5 gallons of coarse river sand
  • 3 cups blood meal
  • 6 cups bone meal
Funnily enough, the recipe below that should seem very familiar to everyone on these forums.

So, in conclusion...I'm not sure exactly how seedlings will survive in 100% leaf mould. But I do know that there is only one way to find out, and the results will be quickly known if you choose a fast sprouting seed(I think corn pops up rather quickly, along with beans and peas).
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Post  rod champion on 1/22/2012, 11:50 am

I will find out and let you know. I do know - from years ago ; that mixing composted leafs in with dirt will grow flowers. A man near me mixes the leaf compost with his dirt and this is all he does. And he has a beautiful garden each year. Hmmmm...
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