Nicole Alderman wrote:When I go out into my forest and look at the soil under a tree in the fall after the leaves have fallen, there's about 3 inches of leaves in the deepest spots under the Big Leaf Maple. Usually it's more like 1-2 inches. Once it starts raining, that'll flatten down easily to an inch or less. Under that layer, it's about 2 inches of decomposing leaves and earth. The earthworms make pretty quick work of the previous years leaves. And, below that is nice soil.
The forest microbiome decomposes the mulch rather quickly, and the earthworms, etc mix it up with the lower layers.
If I want to mulch a 4x8 foot garden bed with 3+ inches of wet leaves, I have to steal pretty much all the leaves from 1 full grown maple tree. It makes sense to me that more than 3 inches of mulch is usually too much for most plants, as it's really not something you'll find too easily in nature.