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Grass clippings to compost

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by pewe, Feb 6, 2021.

  1. pewe

    pewe Gardener

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    We have just taken over responsibility for a large communal area.
    Along with it we inherited a pile of grass clippings stored in a box area made up of pallets.
    The pile is 3 ft high by 7 feet long and 3 feet wide. The grass clipping pile has been accumulated but untouched for the last 2 years and is currently a wet slimy mess.
    Someone has said that we should simply turn over the grass and add straw to make compost.
    How likely is that to work, and if it would create compost, how long would it take before it became usable?
     
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    • Mike Allen

      Mike Allen Total Gardener

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      Lucky you.

      I still resort at times to gardening methods of bygone eras.
      The heap can be forked over. Yes you can add straw and other vegative waste to it. This will basically provide you with a new compost heap.

      If you have an allottment or large garden. The mowings can be spread across the ground, allowed to rot down, and,or dug in as green manure.

      As thoughts are turning to seed sowing. Lawn mowings can be used in cold frames to povide heat to pots and seed trays. Even in the greenhouse, quickly knocked up frame on the bench/staging, add a good layer of mowings and place your trays and pots on it. Another use is. Put some in a sack etc, and place in a tank/tub of water. Give it a week or so and use the water to water your plants. It will be high in nitrogen.
       
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      • rustyroots

        rustyroots Total Gardener

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        Hi Pewe,

        you can add any brown material, cardboard, paper (shredders better). Don’t put glossy magazine type paper in though. Rip it up into smaller pieces and give it a good mix to get some air into it and then turn it every few weeks and it should be fine. If it is a communal heap ask others for their paper and cardboard. The mix should be roughly 50-50 green and brown.
        Rusty
         
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        • flounder

          flounder Gardener

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          My bamboos love that green slimy mess spread around the base of the culms, but I also chuck the grass cuttings around shrubs and any bare soil. It seems to keep in the moisture in the soil and stops the local cats using it as a toilet
           
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          • pete

            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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            When I used to grow cucumbers I used to top dress the root area with slimy grass cuttings, then thoroughly water.
            The slimy mess needs to be kept a couple of inches from the stem of the plant.

            The roots then come up from the ground into the slime:biggrin:

            Best done once the plants are established and growing well.
             
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            • Black Dog

              Black Dog Gardener of useful things

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              I use the grass to mulch everything around it. Just spread it out really well and it is gone in no time

              But beware of grass that hasn't been cut in a long time. You don't want to spread thousands of seeds around
               
            • Sandy Ground

              Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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              I dont put grass on the compost any more. I simply allow the lawn mower to mulch it and leave it on the lawn.

              Back in the days I used to put it on the compost heap, I would mix equal parts of sawdust from my woodworking activities. That made for a very nice mix, especially if other things such as hedge cuttings could be mixed into it.

              Beware about putting grass cuttings only on the compost! They have been known to cause fires.

              One other thing related to compost. Never, ever put cardboard or paper on the compost heap, especially if it is used for edibles. I've seen plenty online advice saying its ok to do so, but its quite wrong. Modern cardboard, etc. contains mineral oil, plastic, and aluminium. So much of it that recycled board is prohibited by EU legislation to be used as food packaging material!

              I know before I even press "post reply" someone will deny this! :biggrin:
               
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              • Black Dog

                Black Dog Gardener of useful things

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                @Sandy Ground
                Thank you for raising awareness regarding paper.
                Most modern paper shouldn't be in the compost. They are treated and printed upon. And composting them will accumulate all that stuff over the years.
                Just don't do it.
                 
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