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Grass Clippings

Moray, Scotland Sco

Anyone any ideas on how to deal with large amounts of grass clippings?
We have access to a plot of land to grow vegetables at the bottom of a neighbours garden. The 'rent' is that we keep the grass cut etc. Trouble is that the grass area is three to four times that of the veggie garden! There is too much grass to compost normally.
We have inherited a heap of old clippings from last year, or even the year before, and are using that as a mulch layer over the plots as we dig it over. This years clippings are in a pile and I was thinking of mixing some soil through it and leaving it until it had rotted down.
Any other ideas?



If you can get some fresh stable manure, make a compost heap and put 4inch layers of each with a dressing of carbonate of lime, cover and let heat as normal. Should be ready in the spring.

20 Sep, 2009


If not you can still compost the grass on its own. What you do is to mound it up and then drive a stake down into the mound and wiggle it about until there is a hole in the mound. This allows air into the heap and thus it will compost down. The bigger the heap the more air holes you need in it.

20 Sep, 2009


Just like it was a vampire, eh, Owdboggy :-)?
I like the idea of Doctorbob but even here, in the countryside, stable or farmyard manure is difficult to come by.

20 Sep, 2009


I'm surprised you have 'too much' as we can never get our hands on enough grass cuttings. We have someone who cuts grass commercially bringing all the clippings to us throughout the summer. Put as a thick mulch between vegetables, trees and shrubs, even a six or seven inch layer doesn't seem to be too much and vanishes far too quickly. I've only found it a problem when it's in a large heap; once spread out into a relatively thin layer it seems to decompose really well and adds nitrogen and humus to the soil.

20 Sep, 2009


At least you do not have to add garlic to it!
I reckon we have about 1/3 of an acre of grass, the cutings of which go on to our compost heap, mixed up wth the normal compostable material with no added anything else and it rots down ok, as long as we turn it once in the season.

20 Sep, 2009


That's a surprise Bulbaholic, I live in a suburban area in Surrey and you can help yourself to heaps of manure which is delivered free to our local allotments. Near some stables it's bagged up ready to take away as long as you bring the bags back.

20 Sep, 2009


Thanks for all of your input. It gives me plenty to go on.
In 'Practical Organic Gardening' by Ben Easy (1976) he suggests mixing the grass with an equal amount of dry material, such as straw. This gives a good compost in as little as three months (!).
I have not used fresh grass as a mulch, Bertie, because I always thought that it was full of weed seeds.Am I wrong in this?

21 Sep, 2009


Using fairly fresh grass cuttings, I don't know if it's the slightly hotter climate, but I don't get problems with weed seeds (quite the reverse). I'm putting it on in thick layers around the vegetables or to 'earth up' potatoes and such like. I find it suppresses weed growth and turns brown very quickly.
I thought it would quickly improve the soil, but after doing this for six years, although there's a lot more humus in the soil, the surface mulch layer vanishes very quickly.
I'd agree you'd get a much better quality compost by mixing it with straw and allowing it to decompose for a few months in a hot heap.

28 Sep, 2009

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