Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:50 pm
Mowing the lawn produces a lot of grass clippings, depending on the size and length of the grasses. Lawn clippings make very good compost if you compost them properly. Under no circumstances should you put large quantities of these clippings on the compost at once without mixing them well.
Putting lawn clippings on the compost
If you take all the lawn clippings to the compost at once after mowing the lawn, often not only is the compost pile full. Also, the clippings do not rot, but develop into a wet, smelly mass.
This is due to the fact that the usually very moist lawn clippings prevent air circulation. As a result, the microorganisms and bacteria cannot decompose the material. The grass does not rot, but begins to ferment.
You must therefore always mix lawn clippings with other, airy materials before putting them in the compost.
Ensure good aeration
To prevent the grass clippings from forming a solid mass, add coarser materials in between. Shredded shrubbery, for example, from hedge trimming, is ideal.
It makes sense to always have a supply of chopped shrubbery in the garden. Then you can mix and compost the grass clippings after each mowing.
Alternatively, other compostable material such as:
- small amounts of paper
- torn egg cartons
- wood wool
- dry leaves
It is important that the material is as dry as possible
Composting lawn clippings with flowers and seeds
Unless you mow your lawn almost daily, it is impossible to avoid the development of lawn weeds. These will begin to flower and sometimes set seed very quickly.
Nevertheless, you may compost such lawn clippings as well. Most seeds are rendered harmless by hot rotting. You do not have to worry about sowing unwanted plants with the compost.
However, this does not apply to roots of couch grass and goutweed. These plants are so hardy that their roots will not be killed in the compost. If you use such compost later, you will unintentionally spread these “weeds”.
An alternative to mixing with other materials is to let the grass clippings dry out before composting. This way the moisture is lost and the grass no longer prevents air circulation.