In Brief: How to Compost Grass Clippings
Knowing how to compost grass clippings is not only beneficial for your soil, but you can also take advantage of this practice to reduce your waste. If you have even a small lawn area, every time you mow it, you generate grass clippings. These clippings are an excellent organic matter that breaks down to provide nutrients to the compost. Here is how to compost your grass clippings.
Grass clippings are inevitable when you mow your lawn.
What not many people know is that grass clippings can be a valuable source of nutrients for compost that you can use for your vegetables, fruits, plants, and lawn, improving the soil quality.
Unfortunately, many people are unsure of how to compost grass clippings. There is a specific process by which to do it, and we are going to walk you through that.
Benefits Of Putting Grass Clippings In Compost
There are numerous perks of putting grass clippings in compost. These are considered green material, so make sure your pile ends up well-balanced between green and brown ingredients.
Using grass clippings in compost is the best way of recycling their nutrients. Even more, you reduce waste that would otherwise be sent to the landfill.
Numerous household products can be paired with grass clippings to create nutrient-rich compost for both your garden and lawn.
The composting process can take a few weeks depending on your method, but the results are surely worth it. The homemade compost can be applied as anything from plant nourishment to mulch and topsoil.
Possible Issues Putting Grass Clippings In Compost
One main issue is related to the concern that some grass has been treated with herbicide, which can affect the quality of the compost. If the grass clippings come from your lawn or another residential lawn, then they are safe.
This is because the law requires all herbicides used for residential purposes to break down in a few days without endangering the plants you apply the compost to.
However, if the grass clippings come from another area, such as a golf course or a farm, there is a chance that the herbicides used need weeks or months to decompose. As a result, the compost is not safe for use on plants unless this time passes.
Composting grass clippings is easy, but it still requires some know-how and effort. This is because simply throwing the grass clippings on your compost heap will result in a smelly pile and very slow decomposition of the ingredients.
This is because fresh grass will get compact and very wet, preventing aeration and leading to the death of the microorganisms that make the compost happen.
In simple words, simply adding grass clippings will result in a mushy, putrid pile that will not decompose anymore.
How To Compost Grass Clippings
First of all, composting grass clippings can be a great thing since they are abundant and available at most times. It is important to avoid sourcing all the brown and green material using dried or fresh grass clippings.
The lack of diversity can affect the overall quality of the compost. As a result, you need to add grass clippings in addition to other ingredients.
Make sure you do not add too many grass clippings, as explained above. When added in moderation, grass clippings will provide a rich source of nitrogen for your compost.
After you added the grass clippings, make sure you aerate the compost using a fork. Otherwise, compaction and lack of oxygen might kill the microbes.
Here is a great video showing how to compost grass clippings:
Compaction happens when the compost is not turned frequently enough, so there are no new air pockets. Microbes consume the oxygen and nutrients inside of the pile and eventually decay if there are no more resources available.
Depending on the size of your heap, you should turn it at least every week.
If you add grass clippings to your compost pile and make sure you turn it regularly, it may take up to a few months to decompose.
It is important to get the ratio of green and brown materials (usually 50/50) correct. Then, make sure you turn the pile every 3-7 days and sprinkle water if the pile gets dry, without soaking it.
All in all, composting grass clippings is not difficult, but there are a few things to be kept in mind.
If it is fresh, a large amount of grass can make the pile soggy and form a wet mat over it. Make sure you turn the heap regularly to ensure airflow.