Q Can I shred lau­rel leaves into com­post des­tined for the veg patch? MRS A KERSWELL, GLOUCS

Garden Answers (UK) - - Problems Solved -

A Leaves of English or cherry lau­rel (Prunus lau­ro­cera­sus) con­tain small amounts of cyanide, a chem­i­cal that smells of al­monds and can be toxic in high con­cen­tra­tions. This isn’t nec­es­sar­ily a dan­ger, but it wouldn’t be wise to take a car full of shred­ded lau­rel to the tip on a hot day. Adding the shred­ded leaves to your com­post heap won’t do any harm. Just make sure, as with any ni­tro­gen-rich (green) ma­te­ri­als, that you mix them with brown (car­bon­rich) mat­ter to help it de­com­pose.

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