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grass clippings?!

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grass clippings?!

Post  cabinfever on 4/11/2011, 4:37 pm

I've seen people suggest grass clippings for mulching your SFG, but doesn't that make grass grow in there?! Embarassed
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Re: grass clippings?!

Post  staf74 on 4/11/2011, 4:43 pm

I guess it depends on your grass type but I'm assuming that grass clippings refers to an actual lawn as opposed to mowing some random patch of "meadow" grass. Grasses kept for lawns are usually mowed too frequently for seed heads to form and mature and so you won't get any seeds in your clippings, perhaps a few immature heads if you went a couple of weeks without mowing.

Just remember NOT to add them if you've used any chemical herbicide like weed and feed etc. That can then get into your SFG and kill poor Mr. Veggie !!!

Regular lawn clippings will NOT produce grass. Certainly not from Fescue in my experience anyhow.
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Re: grass clippings?!

Post  fiddleman on 4/11/2011, 5:03 pm

I was just reading in the All New Square Foot Gardening book today about grass clippings in the compost pile and Mel recommends them since they can be counted toward the "green" side of the compost as opposed to the "brown" side...

I don't have the book in front of me right at the moment, but he says to make sure you DRY the green grass clippings until they turn brown. I actually think they turn more of an Olive color. He recommends you dry the clippings thinly on a tarp or on the driveway turning them several times to dry the grass thoroughly... I think of it like drying hay. I have also mowed the lawn during the summer and left the clippings on the lawn for a day in the bright sun and the next day when the dew has dried off of them raked it up and tossed it in the compost pile. (you know during your vacation the grass grows faster than at any other time of the year! Wink )

He states if you put in green clippings they don't allow enough air into compost pile to allow the aerobic (white hat) microbes in to compost the clippings, and you end up with the anaerobic (black hat) microbes which break down the clippings without air and then you get the rotting smell... Sad Dry grass clippings don't have those problems... it's the white hat aerobic microbes riding in all the way! He equates it to using dry bread crumbs in a meatloaf... if you used just regular bread, it would turn to mush in just a moment, but if you used dry breadcrumbs they help to hold the structure open and still absorb some of the liquid without getting all gooey.

The grass clippings themselves are just the blade of the leaf of grass and on their own don't have enough energy to start laying down roots, so no worries about grass growing in the compost pile. I of course wouldn't put grass in that has been recently treated with herbicides or other stuff...


Mark
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Re: grass clippings?!

Post  staf74 on 4/11/2011, 5:05 pm

I believe the OP was looking for info on using clippings for mulch, not for the compost pile. Although your info was spot on Very Happy
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Re: grass clippings?!

Post  fiddleman on 4/11/2011, 5:11 pm

@staf74 wrote:I believe the OP was looking for info on using clippings for mulch, not for the compost pile. Although your info was spot on Very Happy

You're completely right... I totally missed the word "mulch" sorry about that Embarassed

I wouldn't personally use it for mulch unless it was like a longer blade of grass (5-6 inches long) and thoroughly dried before hand. Grass can easily mat down and without the structure of brown stuff to keep it open, can shed water like a roofing shingle.

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Re: grass clippings?!

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/11/2011, 5:36 pm

I don't mulch my SFG beds at all during the spring or summer growing season.

Of course my climate is cool, foggy and often rainy in the spring and early summer.
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Re: grass clippings?!

Post  staf74 on 4/11/2011, 5:39 pm

I agree. I would not really use clippings myself either. I didn't mulch last fall but went for it this spring / summer; Pine Bark. Its just too darn hot here in the south.
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Re: grass clippings?!

Post  Old Hippie on 4/11/2011, 5:46 pm

I use some to mulch my strawberries. It helps to keep the berries cleaner. But too much mulch gives the slugs too many hiding places, so it is a balancing act.

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