Can I rototil leaves directly into garden soil?
Q. Is it OK to rototil fallen leaves and old vegetable plants into the garden rather than building a compost pile? I’ve done it before, but some years the leaves and old plant stems are still there in the spring. A. In general, yes. However, there are some warnings. In particular, if any of your garden plants had fungal or bacterial diseases, remove them from the garden. Turning them into the soil almost guarantees disease problems next year. Most gardeners will remove and dispose of diseased garden plants. That is the safest way to deal with them. Tree diseases are not usually a problem for the garden plants, so the leaves from the trees should not be a problem. Even if you remove diseased plants from the garden, be sure to rotate your crops the next year. This is good advice even if you didn’t have diseased plants. Crop rotation helps prevent the build-up of disease organisms in the soil. Crop rotation means that you move the crop you grew in one spot to another place the next year.