The Q&A Archives: Composting

Question: I have been reading about adding grass clippings to the compost pile, however, I have a professional service treat my lawn for weeds and also apply fertilizer. I presume I can't use the clippings in my compost because of the additives. Am I correct?

Answer: Well..... it depends. Weed control products and ferilizers will remain in the leaf blades so there will be some residual effect. If you plan to use your compost on ornamental plants in your garden, then you can add the grass clippings to your compost pile. If you intend to use your finished compost around vegetables, perhaps you should keep the clippings out of the compost. There's really no way of knowing whether there will be traces of the chemicals in the finished compost so it's best to err on the safe side and keep the compost out of a vegetable garden. Or, you can simply have your landscape service leave the clippings on the lawn. As the blades decompose they will provide nutrients to your lawn. But, the clippings need to be short. If the leaf blade is very long when it is cut, the cuttings won't decompose rapidly and can cause problems with your lawn. Hope this answers your question.

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