Winter top dressing for garden

Asked October 28, 2019, 12:47 PM EDT

I have a huge english walnut tree, I would like to know if I can lay the leaves over the top of my garden for the winter, or shred them and mulch them in the late spring as to prepare for my garden

Jackson County Oregon horticulture

1 Response

Definitely NOT!! Walnut leaves contain juglone, which is a very powerful allelopathic chemical found in walnut roots and leaves. Shredding them will not prevent the juglone in the leaves from killing other vegetative growth. You should not compost them either. About the only thing you can do with walnut leaves is let them stay in place and self-compost or rake, bag and send them out with the trash. Fortunately, this poison does not affect the edibility of the nuts!