Grass clippings - compost ???

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by galiano, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. galiano

    galiano Active Member

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    For about 5 years I have been tossing my grass clippings on a pile in an out of the way corner of our property. I have never used any chemicals on my lawn. The pile is now about 8 feet wide and maybe 3 feet high. On the surface the material still resembles grass clippings from this past season. A few inches under the surface it becomes very heavy, compact, slimey soil like material. I have a vegetable garden and wonder if this material is good compost material or because of it's composition, maybe I should err on the side of caution and leave it where it is. Am I wasting a good pile of compost or is this compost at all ?? I really don't know if it is good, useable material. Any thoughts ??
     
  2. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Depending on the type of lawn mower you have, one of the best uses for the clippings is to leave them on you lawn. This sends a lot of the nutrients back to where they came from. - Millet
     
  3. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Your pile needs air! You've gotta get in there and turn it, so that the microbes can thrive and do their thing---i.e., decomposition.
     
  4. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    yes, you definitely need to get some air into the center of the pile!! turn it over and mix it up every couple of weeks...you might also want to add in some leaves, too.
     
  5. galiano

    galiano Active Member

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    So if I dig into the pile and then shovel a lot of this stuff onto my vegetable garden would that be a good thing to do ? The grass clippings in the middle of this pile have long since rotted but it is very thick material. Would the composition of this stuff be appropriate for use on my garden ?
     
  6. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i would do a bit of work to it first - get it mixed up really well and get some air movement throughout and then do a bit of regular mixing (every week or two) and add in some fresh materials for a few months before using any of it.
     
  7. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    As joclyn says, you should do some work to the pile first. In answer to your last 2 questions: no, and no. Not yet. Lots of info available on composting online---and at your local library.
     
  8. galiano

    galiano Active Member

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    Ok if the answer is no and no, could you explain why ?
     
  9. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Use a pitch fork to turn it or similar. Spade or shovel is hard work. I would invest in a bail of straw if no leaves are available and fork the pile so there are alternate layers of straw. Then as others have said fork it over in a couple of weeks and keep doing that till it breaks down. I would be forking it from one side (pile) to the other (pile) to really get the air through it. Next lot of clippings make sure you air them so they can break down. Mix them with other things such as house scraps, leaves, paper straw. If it were my pile i would be mixing it with the wood shavings I get to air it then add to other compost material.

    http://heartgarden.com.au/compost.asp

    http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/turf/430-402/430-402.html

    http://www.compostinfo.com/tutorial/ProbMatrls.htm
    Liz
     
  10. galiano

    galiano Active Member

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    Thank you all for your help.
     

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