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Grass Clippings Starting To Stink.....

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by WETSCAPE, May 26, 2008.


    WETSCAPE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    Well the good news is the lawn looks GREAT! The bad news is the grass clippings are starting to pile up and STINK. What to do? I bag every time I cut. I would like to continue to bag any thoughts?
  2. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    what do you mean by pile up? where your storing them or they are piling up on the lawn? Sounds like good ole grass juice, stuff has got to be good for something other than good pranks on fellow landscapers. Stuff also stained my wood on my trailer.

    WETSCAPE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    Dumping it in the back woods of my property.
  4. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    well that was ...... not good you should have left them on the lawn. now that your in a pickle, get some woody waste. wood chips and some other carbon sources, then you mix and compost with out that smell. look for composting instructions(not from me this time) on-line or go through some old posts.good luck with your nitrogen:hammerhead:
  5. F3Nelson

    F3Nelson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 119

    Oh, I dont know, here's an idea, be like the rest of us and dont bag, I dont have any stinky grass in my truck/backyard.................:cool2:
  6. gorknoids

    gorknoids LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 316

    Someone correct me if I'm mistaken, but I believe that grass clippings are about 5% N. I only bag if I absolutely have to, because over time the organic matter you leave behind improves the quality of the soil.
    Additionally, many lawn chemicals are taken up in the grass itself, and returning them to the soil actually prolongs their effectiveness.
  7. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    that sounds about right
  8. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    I will assume what your smelling is very ammonia like?

    The ammonia smells is produced by microorganisms breaking down the organic matter, these are called thermophiles there are good ones and bad ones, unfortunately, in this case, these are anaerobic bad guys and do not produce compost in the end, these bad guys steal all of the nutrients from the organic matter and leave you with putrified compost which can be full of pathogens, if left unchecked, the final product will actually do more harm than good when used in the yard or garden

    If you can smell a compost pile you either need to add something or turn it. I'm not saying it doesn't have a smell but it should be an inviting smell, earthy if you will

    go to the web site for the US composting council, they have great information there on basic composting
  9. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    I have a couple of old biodegradable bags of clippings from a few years back when I was doing maintenance, they have done lost their horrible stench and like you said, have basically petrified clippings. Are these indestructible clippings any good? what is the stuff that I am seeing (the clippings) made out of that wont break down?
  10. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    If you cycle them in a new pile the heat should burn up or eat any of the bad guys that exist. Im not sure what to do with petrified grass clippings? a museum maybe.

    Just make sure the pile has enough mass and that this stuff is a small part if that mass

    Putrified compost is not a good thing, there is no "there" there. It has been stripped of any nutrients that would be of any use to any application. The bad guys are still in there just asleep and waiting for the right conditions to go forth and multiply

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