Composting for lawns only

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by mark123, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. mark123

    mark123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    Hypothetically, let's say that some local guys bag their clippings and I wanted some for my compost pile. I intend to only use it for applications on lawns. Unfortunately, the reason they bag all the time is due to a local fert and squirt company over-applying N from synthetic sources causing barely controllable surge growth. They also apply blanket applications of a three-way broadleaf herbicide.

    My questions:
    • Does the leaf tissue carry any residual from synthetic fertilizer or is it of no consequence to the compost?
    • While clopyralid or picloram are not used by any of the local companies (they are all residential applications), if they did would it matter if the compost is only to be used on lawns?
    • Realistically, how detrimental is a selective herbicide to compost?

    I understand that synthetic chemicals have no place in composting so I'm researching indirect involvement and am figuring out how to best plan and test for inappropriate materials in my compost.
  2. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,613

    Well I have no idea but Ive seen true-green do that around here. They make the customer pre pay and bombard the lawn all year with rediculous amounts of treatments.
  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Find out what products are being used then determine the proper amount of time required to decompose those products.
  4. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    most fertilizer and herbicides are fine to decompose and compost, although there are some new products coming out that stay in the grass longer which can not be composted. Best bet, talk to the companies and find out what they are using. When you have found that out, research the products, if they cant be composted it will say right on the label.
  5. mark123

    mark123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    The product used is Dicamba, Mecoprop-p and 2,4-D along with granular fertilizer with way too much of everything in it. Of course they also hit the lawns with dithiopyr or benefin + trifluralin in the spring for crabgrass control.

    I'll look into how long they take to break down. I just wanted to make sure there was no detriment to using these clippings if they have residuals.

    Danke Schön. :)
  6. mark123

    mark123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    Dicamba seems to be the most troublesome (or at least longest lasting) but if only used on lawns it should be fine.

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