Soil and Compost forum: Grass Clippings

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Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
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bloominholes2fill
May 20, 2017 9:17 AM CST
Hello Gang!
I use fresh grass clippings as a layer of mulch in my beds, for nutrients, as many a gardener does, but I've noticed that, after a while and as it dries, it sticks together and water runs off the surface, instead of in to the soil.

It seems as though once the clippings begin to dry, there is some type of "film", for lack of a better term, that is responsible by sort of behaving like a sort of "glue".

I live in the city, on property the size of a "postage stamp" (42ft. x 150ft.), so I only have a small, plastic compost bin, and really no room to expand the effort, at least in an attractive, not so offensive to the neighbors kind of way, so once fresh clippings are layered in the bin, there are plenty left over, and I just spread the remaining love throughout the gardens. After a while, though, I find the need to break it up a bit with a pitch fork in order to allow irrigation and rain through to the soil.

Is there something that can be done to avoid the problem? You know, save the back strain a little? The garden beds are expanding, and I prefer not to spend my time on this chore, if at all possible...
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...
[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - May 20, 2017 9:24 AM (+)]
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
May 20, 2017 8:09 PM CST
I think the main problem is using fresh grass clippings and maybe they are being put on a bit thick. I think it is recommended to use dry grass clippings no more than an inch thick. I admit to having the same problem you are facing. I did a rose bed last year with grass clippings and it took an entire year for them to decompose, I struggled the whole year while watering that bed trying to get the water to penetrate to the soil. Finally as it decomposed the grass started absorbing the water. But I did put the clippings on really thick trying to block out all the weeds, and at least that worked.
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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bloominholes2fill
May 20, 2017 9:56 PM CST
Larry, I'm thinking that, since I haven't the space to keep the grass clippings while they dry, I've not much choice but to deal with the issue, as I have in the past.

I could spread them out in a thin layer, on a tarp in the drive, for several days?
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
May 21, 2017 7:02 AM CST
According to this article the grass clippings could be ready for mulch in 24 hours.
http://www.gardensalive.com/pr...
Of course I found articles on the net saying grass clippings should not be used as mulch, they they were the best mulch to use and articles with opinions in between. I like them best when mixed with leaves.
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
bloominholes2fill
May 25, 2017 4:56 PM CST
Great article! Thanks Larry!! Thank You!
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...
Name: J.R. Baca
Pueblo West Co. ( High Dessert (Zone 6a)
josebaca
Jun 26, 2017 6:35 PM CST
Hello from southern Colorado,Dana
Grass is like that, that's why people use thatch as roofing material ( even though its a different type ).
We deal with grass on a daily basis during the summer and only on a weekly basis in the winter Smiling In springtime during the initial prep we are required to power rake some areas. There are those of us who feel this is more damaging than helpful- I'm among those- and refuse to do so at home. So what do I do? I'll buy a half dozen 40's of beer, put 5 in my pump sprayer with a skosh of water and spray my lawn. The enzymes in the beer eat or breakdown the thatch and I believe gives the soil a little something as well. Keep using your grass as you have and give it a cold one every now and then and you shouldn't have that problem.
Oh, and the 6th? Well..... *Blush* *Blush* *Blush* it always seems to disappear.
Hope this helps.
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
bloominholes2fill
Jun 26, 2017 7:54 PM CST
@josebaca Thank You! for the tip!

I never liked beer, and since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I like it even less, but hey, anything for the gardens! Smiling

Only issue I can foresee is slugs love beer, and they're already a nuisance without beer, which is why beer is used to trap the dang things Blinking Blinking ....hmmm I'm gonna havta volley that one around in the ole' noggin for a spell! nodding
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
Image
Seedfork
Jun 27, 2017 5:48 AM CST
I wonder if the beer is absorbed into the soil , would it be an attractant like beer held in a trap? I wouldn't think so.
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
bloominholes2fill
Jun 27, 2017 8:45 PM CST
Hmmm, you're probably right, Larry. Smiling It would absorb in before "Slugfest" would commence! Thumbs up It's certainly a method to consider!! Smiling

I just love the tips and tricks that everybody has to share, here on the NGA site! Smiling
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...

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