Local leaf mulch as substrate

user 666

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
353
Has anyone tried using leaf mulch as a substrate?

My local county authority shreds any leaves handed over for recycling, and they let you haul away as much as you want to shovel. (the same goes for wood mulch)

How well do you think it would work?

it's rather coarse, so I was thinking of mixing it with coco fiber (I already have it on hand), terrarium moss, and possibly whole leaves gathered last fall.

Add one part top soil and this would make a good forest substrate, no?
 

TomKemp

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
159
Leaf mulch is great especially if your planning on mixing it with the other stuff you mentioned. The only downside is always the risk of extra critters, fungus etc. in there. Anything I bring in from outside I bake in the oven on low for a bit to make sure the "extras" are killed off.
 

G. pulchra

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
594
I wouldn't take the chance, you have no idea what the leaves may have been exposed to (read pesticides).
 

WeightedAbyss75

Arachnoangel
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
921
You said any leaves that are put towards recycling, so do you know exactly which leaves were used? Some are terrible for insects with natural pesticides. Not sure which leaves have this, but I wouldn't risk it. Btw, which insect were you going to use this sub for? In general, or for only T's/scorps? I know things that eat parts of the sub would be even riskier.
 

ediblepain

Arachnosquire
Joined
Dec 24, 2016
Messages
100
I use leaf litter mixed into my sub. But, it's collected from my parents yard where they never use pesticides. I treat it with CO2 to kill off pests, and then let it air out for a day or so.
 

mconnachan

Arachnoprince
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
1,244
Has anyone tried using leaf mulch as a substrate?

My local county authority shreds any leaves handed over for recycling, and they let you haul away as much as you want to shovel. (the same goes for wood mulch)

How well do you think it would work?

it's rather coarse, so I was thinking of mixing it with coco fiber (I already have it on hand), terrarium moss, and possibly whole leaves gathered last fall.

Add one part top soil and this would make a good forest substrate, no?
Yes leaf mulch is a great substrate especially when mixed with coco fiber etc, it holds water well, but not too much, you may want to boil it up in a big saucepan on the stove or microwave it to kill off any nasties, apart from that you're good to go my friend.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
9,210
That's a poor reflection of us humans and these modern times: Not safe to use detritus! You never know what humans might have done to it!
 

grimmjowls

Arachnoknight
Joined
May 1, 2016
Messages
205
If you're worried about pesticides, look up how to wash off pesticides. There's various ways to do it.

Consider going bio active. Extra "critters" aren't so bad then.
 

user 666

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
353
Leaf mulch is great especially if your planning on mixing it with the other stuff you mentioned. The only downside is always the risk of extra critters, fungus etc. in there. Anything I bring in from outside I bake in the oven on low for a bit to make sure the "extras" are killed off.
Coincidentally, I've had some of the new substrate in a bin in my office slash T room for the past few weeks. I haven't had any problems with bugs or other issues.
 

TomKemp

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
159
I haven't really ever had issues from the "outside" materials I have used in the past/current.
 
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