Oak leaf mulching for vegetables

Asked February 7, 2018, 5:57 PM EST

I've shredded oak leaves from our yard and placed them in our raised beds over the years. I also add our composted vegetable and fruit waste mixed with soil building compost. Yet each year it seems our vegetable plants become less productive. Are either of these harming the results? What can I add to get more veges? Thanks. Chris Mays

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Compost is helpful for seasonal crops when at least an inch is incorporated into the soil each year. Compost from oak leaves combined with veggie scraps and fruit trimmings is fine.

But compost is only part of the story.

Abundant yields depend upon numerous additional factors, among them the correct planting date; how you planted them and at what size; if and when you added fertilizer; your watering practices (the method, how much, and how often); drainage; and more.

If you have further questions after you review these publications, please ask:

- Growing Your Own (https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/em9027.pdf) A general overview of gardening with an emphasis on vegetables, including a chart of planting dates (page 7).

- Vegetable Gardening in Oregon (https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/ec871.pdf)

- Blossom-End Rot of Tomatoes (https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/fs139.pdf)