Composting with grass clippings is one of the most prominent and accessible methods. However, the process can be more complicated than many gardeners may think. To be successful, you will need to be aware of a few things.
In this article, we will be discussing everything that you should know before you go ahead with composting your grass clippings.
Before You Start
It is important to note that grass clippings are not the only organic material used to make compost. Many people find the process of cutting and collecting grass very long and tiresome. For example, if you mow your lawn correctly and often, the grass clippings will decompose naturally, and collecting them will be an unnecessary chore.
For this reason, it might be a good idea to consider other methods of composting before you start. Using the skins and leftovers of fruit and vegetables is an easy and popular way of creating compost. You will find various other methods on the Internet.
What You Need To Know Before Using Grass Clipping For Compost
Before you start composting, you need to know the definition of green and brown materials. Green materials consist of any wet or recently grown plants. For example, if you have just cut your grass, those clipping are referred to as being green. On the other hand, brown materials consist of woody or dead matter, such as dry leaves.
Many people simply collect as much organic material as possible when composting. However, you must keep a balance between green and brown materials. It would help if you tried to add equal amounts of wet and dry materials to your heap or bin. This will make your composting with grass clippings much more successful.
You will also want to stay away from any grass clippings that have been exposed to herbicide, as it can negatively affect the quality of your compost. The chemicals can take anywhere from a few days to a few months to break down, depending on the area you collected them from.
How To Compost Grass Clippings: A Step-by-Step Guide
Some people think that composting grass clippings means throwing a heap of material into a bin and leaving it for a while. However, the process is a lot more complicated than this.
Collect Your Grass Clippings
To compost using grass clippings, you will obviously need grass clippings. There are various methods in which you can collect this material.
Many people find it easiest to mow their lawn and add the cut grass to their bin or heap. However, after mowing your garden, the cut grass decomposes and provides your soil with much-needed nutrients, meaning that your lawn will actually benefit from it. More so, if you need a lot of compost and have a small garden, you are likely to have to mow your lawn multiple times to collect enough grass.
So, how else can you collect grass clippings? You could visit your local gardening store and purchase a few bags. You could also ask neighbors and friends if they could save their clippings for you to use.
Add The Clippings To The Pile
As we have mentioned, it is essential to keep a balance between green and brown materials when composting. For this reason, do not just throw your clippings into your heap or bin.
If your pile only consists of brown matter, ensure that you add an equal amount of fresh grass clippings. On the other hand, if your pile is mostly green matter, store your freshly cut clippings in another container until they dry out. You can then add them to the pile to maintain the balance.
Add Small Amounts Of Water On Warmer Days
Moisture is vital for the decomposition process. It is also essential that you do not add too much water, as this can leave you with a mushy mess.
If you live in a colder area, your compost is likely to dry out much faster. For this reason, you will want to add small amounts of water to your pile whenever you experience a warmer day. You will not need to worry as much about moisture if you live in a warm area.
Make Sure That You Turn The Compost Pile Often
It is also imperative that your compost pile is aerated, as this provides your material with composting microbes. For this reason, it is a good idea to turn your clippings often.
To turn your compost, you must empty the bin or heap before refilling it again. Make sure that you turn the sides towards the middle to compost evenly. If you would prefer not to do this yourself, you can purchase a machine to perform this task for you.
Keep The Compost Warm
The best temperature for composting ranges between 130 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If you stick your hand into the compost and it feels uncomfortably hot, you’re doing it right.
There are various ways in which you can warm up your heap or bin. Many people purchase composting containers that have a lid to keep the heat in. However, you could also use a sheet of cardboard or an old carpet to cover your container.
If you live in a cold area, the composting process will occur much more quickly if you move your containers indoors. You will also need to use more insulation than people in warmer areas.
Composting with grass clippings is much more complicated than many people think. Start by collecting your grass clippings. You will then need to add the material to your heap or bin. It is crucial that you keep a balance between the amount of green and brown materials you add to your compost pile.
Monitor the moisture levels within your composting container – if you notice that it looks too dry, add small amounts of water. You should also turn your compost pile often to keep it aerated. Lastly, make sure that your heap or bin is kept warm, as this will speed up the composting process.