How to grow in area that was covered with leaves

Asked June 23, 2019, 5:31 PM EDT

Last year we mulched our garden beds with leaves and now nothing much will grow in them. What can I add to the soil to mitigate our mistake? Thanks so much.

Benton County Oregon soil and fertility issues

1 Response

Wow, this question brings so many other questions to mind. I think it is best if you talk with a Master Gardener at our information desk to get the best answer. If it is a soil issue all should be revealed with a soil test to determine what nutrients need to be added. Here are two links to Extension publications that should help you with soil testing. The first is a listing of laboratories that service our area. The second explains how to properly collect a soil sample for sending into a lab. https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/em8677.pdf https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/ec628.pdf

What kind of leaves did you use? Where did you get them from? Had any pesticides been used on the leaves or around the yard where they came from? What are you trying to grow? What kind of sun exposure does the area have? What have you planted that failed to grow? How deep did you pile the leaves on? Have they decayed at all? Did you mix the leaves in with the soil or just lay them on top? What grew in the beds prior to the leaves being used? In order to solve the problem, I suggest a soil test and a discussion with a Master Gardener. The Benton County OSU Extension Office is located at 4077 SW Research Way in Corvallis. The phone number is 541-766-6750. Office hours are M-F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call to make sure a MG is duty. Photos of the areas affected will be helpful as will information about sun exposure and information about watering and steps taken to try and fix this situation.