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Grass clippings as compost

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by roscioli, Sep 16, 2001.

  1. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 749

    Well, its been a while since I started a new thead, but here goes: And, if you feel this is in the wrong forum (although I dont think it is), feel free to move it.
    For those of you with experience:
    I occasionaly (spring and fall,not summer) bag my clippings, and most of the time just dump on site. Once in a while I load the truck up with them. Now I have a few questions. Will grass clippings make good compost? How long will they take to decompose? Is there any fire risk, because overnight (on a cold night), the small pile I left in my truck bed got very warm to the touch? Should I mix them with leaves? At what ratio?
    OR, are they useless and I should just dump them into my crap pile? Thanks guys,
    Michael Roscioli

    ps... YES, I have been doing this for a while, but have never really tried keeping clippings separate from the rest of my mulch pile, which quite often contains food products from my family's restaurant... Now I want to know if they will be good compost without mixing them with food, etc... Thanks
  2. hustlers

    hustlers LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Posts: 257

    I do composting heres how
    I buy on truck load of black dirt,
    maybe get some free manure
    1) mix black dirt,grass, leaves, etc
    every week or so
    2) leave a separate pile of dirt for food scraps
    3) the dirt mixed with manure,grass leaves
    decomposes over the summer for fall use
    4) probably need a loader to mix the
    compost for faster action or it will
    take 1-3 years naturaly
  3. Butchs Lawn

    Butchs Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    grass cliping make excellent compost even with leaves.even the food scrapes are ok i guess as long as there isn't bones etc.....decomposing process varies depends on size pile .how hot it is how wet it gets etc..speed up the process you need to turn the pile every so often.have a local lco who sells all his compost.he always sells out .i'm thinking about doing the same.seems to a market for it in certain areas.
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    fresh grass clippings are very "hot" with nitrogen. I mix them with brown shredded leaves and old compost, along with food scraps. mix well every week if possible. put it in flaower beds after several months and charge the dickens for it. daveg
  5. You can take grass clippings and mix them with lots of sand. I do mean LOTS of sand. This will make a good topdressing.
  6. vipermanz

    vipermanz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,773

    i have a compost pile in the back corner of my yard, i take the grass i bagged up and dump it in a pile with dirt and about every 2 weeks i run through it with my cultivator, it rots quite nicely, maybe adding food scraps will help the process some, but then i might have mice to deal with:( , But,,, the dog will solve that problem!:D
  7. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    It is some great stuff but just be aware of what was spread on the grass before you add it to the pile.

    If the lawn has been treated with Pre-M in the spring, I wont use it . I also am careful on remembering the time interval that it was sprayed with herbicide before I use it.

    The best stuff is the grass that has only been fertilized with N-P-K.

    Good Luck
  8. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Posts: 1,484

    hey guys. there are two things u need for a good compost pile, greens and browns. u got your leaves that are brown, BUT be advised that to many can be mad (to much nitrogen i believe?), then u have ur lawn clippings, they are perfect, at first they are green, then they turn brown, LAWN CLIPPINGS ARE GREAT!, food is risky, only food u can really use are ones that come from the ground, no meats, or dairy products or anything, mainly just ur salad products. try to stay away from larger branches, try mainly just twigs if u insist, saw dust is great as long as its from nontreated wood! that brings me to my next point ABSOLUTLY NO CHEMICALS. a finished compost pile can be great, take some of it in a bucket at water let it sit for a few days and poor it on all ur plants inside and out (places sell that type of mix) also use it for ur lawns (good fertilizer) and also ur gardens. ANother thing i forgot is watch what manure u use, dog manure is HORRIBLE, mainly horse, cow, and sheep, and chicken is great. watch for to much however cause it can burn. well enough blabbering, good luck. email if u have any questions.
  9. vipermanz

    vipermanz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,773

    thanks scottie, i remebered you were good at this stuff:)
  10. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 749

    Thanks guys,, The food products were only from the ground, wait, no, there were some egg shells in there. Would egg shells be bad? Any idea how long it will take to decompose? Someone said 1-3 years if left alone, is that right? Is there any risk of combustion? Horse manure is good? OHHH BABY! I can definately get my hands on some horse crap. Eww.. that didnt sound too good. haha. Okay, thanks guys, Michael

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