Using Grass Clippings as Vegetable Garden Mulch

, written by us flag

Cabbage grown with a grass clipping mulch

I have used grass clippings as a vegetable garden mulch for as long as I can remember, but four years ago I changed from a casual grass clipping mulcher into a clipping devotee. Hay was no longer a safe choice due to risk of herbicide contamination, ditto for manure. The only answer was to do a better job producing and harvesting my own mulch materials, especially grass clippings. In addition to doing all the things other biodegradable mulches do (retain soil moisture, block light to weeds, improve soil), grass clipping mulch contains so much nitrogen and potassium that it serves as a supplemental fertilizer. It may also deter some pests. In a 3-year Swedish study, grass clipping mulch improved yields of cauliflower while reducing damage cause by root maggots.

Squash seedling mulched with grass

Grass clipping mulch requires special handling, because it tends to form slimy mats when applied too thickly or left in wet piles. But if you are managing certain turf areas for mulch production, you are unlikely to commit these errors. Grass clippings become a much too valuable a resource to waste.

Cultivating Grass Clippings for Mulch

The most fundamental step I have taken is to actively cultivate three areas of my landscape for the specific purpose of gathering mulch. Rather than have them in solid turfgrass, I am growing a mixture of vigorous grasses and perennial clovers, especially Dutch white clover. The clover helps provide soil-borne nitrogen for itself and its neighbors, and changes the texture of the clippings so they are less likely to compact.

In terms of maintenance, I repair damaged places with plugs of sod or clover, and broadcast a balanced organic fertilizer over the turf in spring, just before a soaking rain.

I also invested in a walk-behind mower with grass clipping management in mind. It has a bagger just the right size for me to lift off and dump, and I can switch from the bagger to a mulching attachment, which throws the cut clippings back down to the ground, in about five minutes. At least once a month, I treat my cultivated grass mulch areas to a self-mulching treatment, which fertilizes the grass and helps with weed prevention.

Vegetable garden grass clipping mulch

Like any other crop, grass clippings must be harvested when they are ready, and in the right kind of weather. The grass must be dry, and the mowing should remove about one-third of the length of the grass. I keep my mower blade set high, at 4 inches (10 cm), to keep from damaging the plants' crowns and to help the turf serve as habitat for ground-dwelling spiders, beetles, and other creatures. In spring and early summer, when rain falls regularly, I can harvest clippings from each plot every 7 to 10 days.

Using Grass Clipping Mulch in the Vegetable Garden

The main rule for using grass clippings as mulch is to apply them in thin layers. This happens naturally if you spread mulch as the final step after weeding. When using freshly-cut clippings or batches that have been allowed to dry in the sun, I sprinkle on just enough to barely cover the surface. I may add a little more a few days later, but will wait a couple of weeks, or until the next weeding, to apply another layer. I have yet to find a garden crop that is not completely happy when mulched with three thin layers of grass clippings, spread two weeks apart.

Garden turtle

This practice of applying three thin layers of grass clippings also appears to favor frogs and box turtles over slugs in my garden. Feeding by night, garden toads consume slugs by the dozen, and then turtles take over the early morning shift. Toads especially seem to have a special affinity for grass clipping mulch, or just plain grass clippings. Several times, when I left small piles of grass clippings sitting in the garden overnight, the next morning I found toads enjoying a sauna inside the steamy piles.

Once in a while I will have more clippings than I need, so I spread them out on a piece of roofing metal and let them dry in the sun. Stuffed into a garbage can with a secure lid, I always have a stand-by supply of excellent grass clipping mulch.

By Barbara Pleasant

Pests, Beneficial Insects and Plant Diseases

< All Guides

Garden Planning Apps

If you need help designing your vegetable garden, try our Vegetable Garden Planner (for PC & Mac) or if you'd prefer an app for your mobile or tablet device, our iPad & iPhone app Garden Plan Pro is available on the App Store here.
Garden Planning Apps and Software

Vegetable Garden Pest Warnings

Want to Receive Alerts When Pests are Heading Your Way?

If you've seen any pests or beneficial insects in your garden in the past few days please report them to The Big Bug Hunt and help create a warning system to alert you when bugs are heading your way.

Show Comments



Comments

 
"This is really good to read - I experimented with bought-in bark mulch which someone then told me can be toxic and can change the ph of your soil to acidic...so I got a builder's bag full of grass clippings from a local gardener and have just emptied it after it sat 7 months. No slime to be seen thankfully! Will such old, dried grass still have good nutrients in it? I also have a very small patch of grass on my allotment, literally only the size of a small shed, and I'd never even thought about harvesting from it but after reading your article I will try cutting that too - every little helps I guess! Is Rye grass (from green manure planting) to be used in the same way, if it's not being dug in? Also, an old timer gardener told me that using bio mulch uses up your soil nutrients as it breaks down so you are robbing your veggies (or changing the soil like my bark mulch) - I find it really hard to back my 'fancy new ideas' up against 'years of experience' so I'd appreciate any input on that."
Adele on Friday 6 April 2012
"Good questions! The notion that mulches borrow nutrients from the soil has been found to be false, so don't worry about that, especially with a nitrogen-rich mulch like grass clippings. Your old grass clippings are fine, because any molds or mildews on them will also contribute to soil nutrition. Avoid breathing the dust, however, because I would imagine that a bag of grass clippings stored for a year would be full with fungal spores, like old hay...Rather than digging in rye grass whole, I would cut it for mulch or compost a couple of times, then scalp it low and turn under the roots and crowns. "
Barbara Pleasant on Friday 6 April 2012
"Gardeners need to be very careful not to use grass clippings that contain pesticides or herbicides. 2,4-D, and other common broad leaf pesticides can cause major crop damage if added to the garden or compost bin. Hopefully everyone reading this uses organic gardening methods anyway, but just something to think about before you ask your neighbor for his/her lawn clippings. Happy gardening!"
Dave on Friday 6 April 2012
"I was surprised to learn that I should spread the grass clippings so thinly. One big reason I mulch (apart from weed suppression), is to retain water in the soil. Would spreading it so thinly take away this benefit? We have a lot of grass clippings each year and at the moment we put them in the compost, but I like the idea of trying something new..."
Deanna Vazquez on Friday 6 April 2012
"My worry about using grass clippings is whether seeds will get into the garden. We have bermuda grass, which is nearly impossible to get rid of when it starts growing. Is there anything that needs to be done with clippings to make sure it doesn't start growing grass in the garden?"
Melissa on Friday 6 April 2012
"I have the same concern as Melissa. I struggle each year to keep up with cleaning out the grass growing in my garden and flower beds. The grass steals water and nutirents from my plants, so I am also wondering about using the clippings for mulch... won't that just create more grass in my garden?"
Leah on Friday 6 April 2012
"I began use grass clippings from the start in my garden and have had no issues with grass growing in the garden--and I use freshly cut grass from my yard. It provides great mulch, puts weeding to a minimal (almost non-existent) and means my (now) elementary age son knows where he can safely walk in the garden. "
Scuttlebutt on Friday 6 April 2012
"I used to garden in the bermuda zone, so I understand your worry. Most turf-quality grasses of any species, including bermuda, are not invasive or weedy. It's their first cousins who are. Old-timey coastal bermuda is the weedy kind. Regular mowing keeps it from making seed but won't stop the runners. Annual bluegrass and crabgrass are definitely weedy, but they won't reseed if you mow it before the seeds have time to mature."
Barbara Pleasant on Friday 6 April 2012
"I started using grass clipping between my rows in the garden last year. The results were amazing. No weeds, a nice walking area (especially when wet), and amazing nutrient feedback and water retention in the garden. All I do is take my clippings and sprinkle a thin layer on the rows once a week. In the sprink I till it in and start over. "
richard loeppky on Saturday 7 April 2012
"I use a company to fertilize and degrub my lawn. Is there a way to use the clippings as mulch for my garden? Say let the clippings sit for a while or should I Just forget about the clippings for mulch? While I am at it, I compost house garbage but have been reluctant to put the grass clippings in the bin for the same reason above. Can I use the clippings as compost Or again, just forget it due to the fertelizer and weeed and grub killer? Thanks, Mark"
Mark Hausammann on Saturday 7 April 2012
"Mark, please talk with your lawn service company about the products they are using. The turf industry has come a long way in terms of using more organic products. You can have them change to an organic fertilizer and organic grub control (beneficial nematodes). Then your clippings will be endlessly useful. The company works for you, right? "
Barbara Pleasant on Sunday 8 April 2012
"Realistic and valuable information about the Grass Clipping. We handle the grass clipping very carefully, It gives more yields in vegetables. The strength by this procedure is acquired in the greater extents."
bark mulch on Saturday 14 April 2012
"I also use grass clippings - I recieve the clippings from my neighbour - a longtimne organic gardener, who also mows his neighbours lawn - so three gardens worth!! I do give quite a bit to the poultyr as well as put it on the garden. If a weed is suspected, drying out the grass will likely kill it, or else 'process' through a rabbit or guinea pig!!! leaving for several days in a black plastic bag in the sun will also kill most weeds - starts a composting process. Another thing I have done is encouraged a local lawn mowing provider to drop off his bags of clippings, rather than take them to the tip (which charges them). He also provides clippings to a local market gardener. Way To Go, Grass!!!"
Sally Nelson on Sunday 15 April 2012
"How about grass as a living mulch? I am looking at options for paths between raised beds - I've read both sides of the argument: don't have grass as it will compete for water versus do use grass because it will help store water in the soil and prevent evaporation/drying out...?"
webwahm on Monday 16 April 2012
"One guideline...if the paths are wider than the width of the mower's cutting path (usually 21 inches minimum), then grass/clover is a good choice for corridors that take a lot of traffic. Narrower paths are easier to manage in mulch."
Barbara Pleasant on Monday 16 April 2012
"I do like the idea of Grass Paths - as you suggest Barbara, letting the mower thru - can be used both ways - path and produce. It also harbours 'good' soil bugs and worms. Lets them get away from any overheated area of the garden, etc. and choose their own environment."
Sally Nelson on Monday 16 April 2012
"I am needing to know whether it is possible to dig directly into the earth my grass cutting not as mulching cannot find an straight forward answer."
Boeck on Sunday 2 September 2012
"Yes, you can dig grass clippings into bioactive soil, and it will have similar effects to turning under a cover crop. Depending on how much nitrogen the clippings are holding, amending with grass clippings can reduce fertilizer needs. I would wait at least two weeks after digging in grass clippings to plant in order to allow time for them to decompose."
Barbara Pleasant on Monday 3 September 2012
"Dear Barbara, I live a few metres from the beach on a hillside in New Zealand, I am told I can fill a container with grass clippings, cover this with water and leave to form a liquid fertiliser,is this so and how long does one leave the mix before it can be used. also I did the same with horse manure sea weed and water,I left it for a yearto mature, but it killed 2 young shrubs when I added it to the soil when planting. please advise as I am not a great gardener, everything just grows fastand well here, the soil is black and easy to pull weeds from,I can break of a cutting, pop it in and almost all grow well, di I even need to fertilise?? Regards Jane. "
Dorothea Jane Gelston on Saturday 3 November 2012
"Jane, you are on the right track with your making of homemade fertilizers, but letting them steep too long. Three days is plenty! Please see the article at Mother Earth News on this topic, wherein the "recipes" were checked for proper dilution rates by a very reputable lab: http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/liquid-fertilizers-zm0z11zhun.aspx"
Barbara Pleasant on Sunday 4 November 2012
"Jane, remember that any fertilizer, even home made, should be diluted before use, or it can burn and kill any plant. Sally"
Sally nelson on Monday 5 November 2012
"I totally agree with this article - grass mulch works very well. I would also add that it can be used, with discretion, at much greater thicknesses, for example under bushes and trees. I've spread it at thicknesses up to 4 or 5 inches (it compresses to about 2-3 in a couple of days) and the trees just love it, especially during establishment. I've never encountered any problems with insects or anything else doing this, although you wouldn't do it where you plan to walk! I've also used it over potatoes, where it does seem to prevent scab. "
Rob Wigham on Sunday 16 December 2012
"Jane, I think most gardeners would kill for your soil! However, it's not just fertilization that youd be doing. The worms take the grass down and their excreta adds to the humus of the soil - it's that that the plants love! This is what gives your soil body and gives it that 'rich but well drained' thing that the books talk about. Even if you don't need it, think about the gardener who'll be there in 100 years. Store up that goodness....!"
Rob Wigham on Sunday 16 December 2012
"Could I put grass clippings straight into a trench and add my seed potatoes? I'm hoping that the grass clippings would nourish the soil into producing a larger crop!"
Gillian Dyer on Wednesday 10 April 2013
"No, no, Gillian, don't do it. The grass clippings will turn into a slimy mess when covered with soil, which won't do your potatoes any good at all. It's nature's way to keep the grass clippings on top."
Barbara Pleasant on Wednesday 10 April 2013
"Thanks so much. An aquaintence said that this was the way to get super potatoes so I thought I'd ask. I certainly don't remember my father ever doing so. Just continue 'lining' with compost I suppose. I've also got chicken droppings (and their straw) which I hope is okay. "
Gillian Dyer on Wednesday 10 April 2013
"Can grass clippings cause weeds in a garden? If mowing and grass clippings blow into garden will they cause weeds or grass to grow in the garden?"
Melodie on Friday 19 April 2013
"It takes most lawn grasses a long time to produce mature seeds, so grass clippings normally have few seeds. In my experience they have fewer weed seeds compared to any other mulches except sawdust and wood chips. With each mowing, immature seeds are removed."
Barbara Pleasant on Friday 19 April 2013
"Once my seeds are planted do I cover that area with the grass clippings as well or only around where the seeds are planted? I wasn't sure if I sure cover everything or not. Thanks!"
Jason on Wednesday 8 May 2013
"In spring and early summer you want to keep any mulch well away from germinating seeds and young seedlings, because mulch can provide cover for slugs and cutworms. The first crops I mulch with grass clippings are potatoes and broccoli, after the plants are 12 inches tall. As the weather warms, I use grass clippings to mulch lots of other veggies. "
Barbara Pleasant on Wednesday 8 May 2013
"I am building a raised garden bed. Since soil is expensive I have lined the bottom with cardboard,coconut husks(live in Hawaii ) and thought to put grass clippings before adding soil for the top foot. Is this a good idea for the grass? Thanks"
Dorthy Owen on Tuesday 21 May 2013
"I am building a raised garden bed. Since soil is expensive I have lined the bottom with cardboard,coconut husks(live in Hawaii ) and thought to put grass clippings before adding soil for the top foot. Is this a good idea for the grass? Thanks"
Dorthy Owen on Tuesday 21 May 2013
"Dorothy, you could use a thin blanket of grass clippings over the cardboard and coconut husks, but no more than 2 inches. Because cardboard and coconut husks are high carbon materials, I would put 2 inches of bagged compost over the grass clippings before adding the soil. Good luck!"
Barbara Pleasant on Tuesday 21 May 2013
"why only 2in of clippings? is it because of heating up? I am thinking putting shredded corrugated cardboard to mix with compost I made. would decaying cardboard rob nutrients? should I put green ie grass clippings to avoid this? another thing, is mixing grass clippings in potting mix helpful in improving nutrients available to the plant?"
ledum09 on Thursday 23 May 2013
"If your compost is already made, use it! The balancing of cardboard and grass clippings in a new heap makes much more sense, and should work fine. More than 2 inches of grass clippings buried with other stuff will become a layer of green slime at least for a while, and you don't want too much of that going on in the root zone. Finally, potting mix is low in microorganisms to prevent aggravation to roots. Rotting grass clippings are great in compost or as mulch, but not in potting mix, containers being a bad place to do composting."
Barbara Pleasant on Thursday 23 May 2013
"I put down weed n feed on my lawn on May 13th. How long do I have to wait to be able to safely use the grass clippings in my vegetable garden? "
Bob Perhacs on Friday 31 May 2013
"Bob, you need to check the label on the product you used, because the chemicals vary so much. With corn gluten-based weed-and-feeds there is no waiting period, whereas some chemicals can toxify your lawngrass clippings permanently."
Barbara Pleasant on Sunday 2 June 2013
"Barb, I used Scotts Weed n Feed and have thrown away the bag. Would I be better off using the grass clippings from my neighbor (she doesn't put any chemicals on her lawn)or could I use pine bark mulch instead? I have already put down a layer of newspapers to inhibit the weeds but I need a layer of something to cover them."
Bob on Sunday 2 June 2013
"Bob, you applied 2,4-D to your lawn, so I would not use the grass clippings for anything for a year. The National Resources Defense Council has asked for it to be banned because of carcinogenic concerns. Next spring, consider using Concern weed preventer, which contains corn gluten. You can certainly use your neighbor's grass clippings, or pine mulch, or whatever you can find that is locally abundant."
Barbara Pleasant on Monday 3 June 2013
"I live on a rural two acre parcel and I intentionally allow my grass to grow taller than normal. After I mow I allow the grass clippings to dry on the lawn for two days of good sun. Then I harvest the "hay" with a lawn sweeper and apply it around my flowers and vegetables. Works great and allows me to get into the garden easily when the ground is wet"
Jim Heller on Wednesday 19 June 2013
"Well, I have to use dried grass clippings on my garden. I mow, let dry, and then lay over my mounds of dirt that I hoed up onto my garden. I really hope I am not hurting my plants in any way, buty garden is producing 100% of my veggies. Last couple years they never made it to harvest. I have to keep my home remedies because I am a low income person and they seem to work and save me money. "
Florendia on Tuesday 25 June 2013
"Has anyone found that mulching traps too much water in the soil? We have been mulching with grass clippings for many years but about three years ago suddenly our garden started retaining water and now it is almost too wet to plant and now the plants are withering and dying from too much water (I have not watered yet this year). Has anyone else had this and think it might be from the mulch?"
Carol on Sunday 30 June 2013
"Carol, I can understand your problem in this rainy year. The benefit of mulch in rainy weather is that is cushions the impact of hard rain, preventing compaction. But it also can keep soil too wet and inhibit drainage. In seasons when mulching causes more problems than it solves, it is best to limit mulching to pathways, and compost excess grass clippings."
Barbara Pleasant on Thursday 4 July 2013
"I planted a fall garden in one of my raised beds. My beans were up around a week when I placed a light layer of grass clippings over the garden bed to hold in moisture due to late summer dryness. A few days later, a handfull of the leaves (most of the beans only had two big leaves at that time)were dying or wilted. I wonder if this has anything to do with my mulch or if it might be the soil. The garden is raised with good topsoil on top (bagged) but the bottome half is compost from my local tree disposal pile (they do a great job of leaving piles of mulch and it's free to take whatever level of composted material you want). Thanks in advance"
Jim on Friday 9 August 2013
"I sounds like you may have cutworms that come out and feed at night. The mulch provides them with daytime cover. Frequently the damage simply stops as the caterpillars morph into moths, but if the damage continues I would rake back the mulch for a week or so, making the cutworms fair game for birds, wasps and other natural predators."
Barbara Pleasant on Saturday 10 August 2013
"I saw how much the grass grows after I mowed the yard each time. Instead of spending $2,000 on fertilizer every spring for the hay field, I mowed it after the hay season. I turned out my cows to graze on part of it in the spring without fertilizing it. The grass was so thick and tall you could not see the cows legs."
DW Starr on Tuesday 29 October 2013
"thank you so much ,i've learned a lot on this column ,i would like to know after mixed dry leaves or grass clipping into soil ,would it change ph of the soil to acid or alkaline ? should we add something to make it better ph ? "
kandi on Friday 13 December 2013
"Grass clippings will quickly rot when turned under, and like other forms of "active" organic matter, they have a moderating effect on soil pH. Unrotted leaves are acidic, but the composting process changes them to near neutral. You could acidify soil by adding a lot of leaves, in which case you would need to balance things out with lime or wood ashes. "
Barbara Pleasant on Friday 13 December 2013
"Hi can I use any kind of grass for grass clippings? I will use it for my grapes and apples. I live in the Philippines and I am the only one who had these kinds of plant in my area."
Delgado on Saturday 25 January 2014
"Why apply the grass clippings in 3 thin layers over 2 weeks period? Why not just apply 1 thick layer in one go?"
bernard on Sunday 26 January 2014
"As long as the grass has not been treated with herbicides, any type of grass clippings are safe to use as mulch. ..Thick layers tend to go slimy in the middle and form a mat that is not easily penetrated by rain. This does not happen when the clippings are applied in thin layers."
Barbara Pleasant on Sunday 26 January 2014
"I mulch with grass clippings every year for many years now. I partially block the discharge on my mower and it leaves a nice narrow windrow on my lawn. Go back later in the day and either hand or power rake it up, put it on the garden 4-6" deep. It dries in a few days, turns a nice brown, no smell and no weeds. Water runs right thru although this year I am going to use drip lines. So I will cover the emitters with grass. Usually wait till plants are over 6" tall before mulching. Rototill in the fall, soil is wonderful. I plant 5' garden strips with 5' grass walkway between. 100' long strips , width of my 5' rototiller on tractor. Nice garden system, no weeding, just plant and pick. Careful not to use pesticides anywhere."
Gary on Sunday 16 March 2014
"I have a huge pile of rotten grass clippings at the end of our garden,it's pure slime and it stinks.I'm wondering can a little of it be mixed through soil as I'm hoping to start a new vegetable garden. Thanks in advance for any replies "
Lou on Wednesday 4 March 2015
"Would have been better had you spread and tilled it in last fall, it would be worm food and pretty much gone by now. Yes, you can till it in, spread it in a one or two inch layer and incorporate down thru the plant zone. Decomposing mulch will use nitrogen, so maybe spread the grass over your garden, throw some N on top and then till it in. Next time, don't build large grass piles of wet green grass, let it dry a bit and then use for mulch. You can compost it, but it needs alot of carbon sources to mix with the green nitrogen from the grass. You lost your nitrogen in the form of ammonia (stink) when the pile heated up."
Gary on Friday 6 March 2015
"Thanks for your reply ????"
Lou on Friday 6 March 2015
"Those Question marks were supposed to be smiley faces!! "
Lou on Friday 6 March 2015
"Trying a garden for the second time (last was 10 years ago) I am trying to buy as little as possible and doing a ton of research- last time mixed results with little time and knowledge! I killed all my indoor seedlings, cut worms ate my sunflowers, peas wilted because i planted too late, corn grew a weird gray fungus, but i got a ton of zucchini! This is great info for using what i already have. My question is can i plant clover in my walkways or is it too invasive, and what kind of clover?"
Michelle on Sunday 29 March 2015
"The common white clover, called white dutch clover, is actually quite good for pathways. You often can transplant bits from the lawn, or from other peoples' lawns. "
Barbara Pleasant on Sunday 29 March 2015
"Thank you! I have a lot of white clover already growing in my yard-another thing I don't have to buy! Now if the snow will go away, I can get started."
Michelle on Monday 30 March 2015
"Thanks for the information. Do you use grass clippings throughout your entire garden or are there some vegetables or fruits that it's not recommended? Especially curious about melons and winter squash vines. Thanks much!"
Steve on Thursday 23 April 2015
"Steve, to increase the weed resistance of the mulch, I would use a layer of newspapers under grass clippings to cover a large space, as would be needed with melons. Some winter squash like direct contact with the ground, and the vines are so vigorous that they shade out weeds, so mulching them may not be worthwhile."
Barbara Pleasant on Thursday 23 April 2015
"we only have the invasive 'creeping' grass - that grows on runners- gets everywhere!! is this safe to put on my veggie bed - as I don't want it ti set up in there!! I guess I'll have to give it the plastic bag treatment for a few days ?? anyone had this problem with runners ??"
Tracy on Saturday 2 May 2015
"Tracy, even if you have old-time Bermuda (very invasive) you can use the clippings. The only time this would no be a good idea would be if the grass was holding mature seeds, which is unlikely if you mow every 10 days or so."
Barbara Pleasant on Tuesday 5 May 2015
"I want to use grass clippings on the vegetable garden, but concerned that if there are some weeds in the grass they will sprout in garden. Sorry if this is a dumb question. ??"
Heidi on Monday 25 May 2015
"I want to use grass clippings to heat up the soil in my cool-ish climate. Do I still do a very thin layer of clippings?"
Lea on Monday 25 May 2015
"Heidi, when grass is cut every three weeks, ripe seeds don't have a chance to develop. Many more weeds come into the garden on the wind than would be likely in clippings from regularly mowed grass...Lea, you will be better off using plastic or row cover (fleece) tunnels to increase warmth. Wait until summer gets going and the soil warms to mulch, because all mulches except plastics cool the soil. Until then, you can use grass clippings to heat up compost."
Barbara Pleasant on Tuesday 26 May 2015
"Your info on using grass clippings as mulch was so helpful. Thank you! "
Cas on Saturday 6 June 2015
"grass clippings around tomato plants makes a lush garden"
c shaffer on Friday 12 June 2015
"Following up on the question from Lou (March 4, 2015), and the reply from Gary: I too have mismanaged a smallish pile of grass clippings intended for my snazzy new compost bin, which is not done yet (well, it's been raining); and I too want to get some use out of the clippings by digging a layer into a newly-tilled bed. Gary's main warning was about nitrogen. Since what I want to put into the bed is beans, which pull up their own N, can I go cheerfully ahead? Say yes."
Khlovia on Sunday 14 June 2015
"The answer depends on how many grass clippings you want to till in. If it is a lot (more than a 3-inch layer), you would need to allow a little time for the clippings to rot before planting, say 10 days. With less there would be no reason to wait."
Barbara Pleasant on Monday 15 June 2015
"Very interesting information on the topic and thanks for it! Today first time in my life I used grass clippings in my garden."
Jaswinder on Saturday 25 July 2015
"I may have made a big mistake. I have very sandy soil in fact this may have been a beach at one time. I am in the process of building the soil for a vegetable garden. Over the past 20 years I have created a very large grass clipping pile. The bottom 2 feet is black almost manure looking, the top 10 feet is dried grass. I have moved some 80 wheelbarrow loads into the 20x50 foot areas and tilled it in thoroughly, giving me a good foot of mixed soil. I have also mixed in about 15 wheelbarrow loads of top soil I had trucked in 10 tears ago. Will this work? Should I add any thing else to the mix? It is now November and I won't be planting until May, 6-7 months away. "
Earl Hunt on Wednesday 4 November 2015
"Thank you so much for your article and the patience you show answering the same question over and over You have spurred me on to using my leaf mulch and grass cuttings in my greenhouse 250sq.yds I look for ward to seeing the results"
Brian on Friday 6 November 2015
"Earl, your rotted-to-black grass clippings are perfect for adding organic matter to sandy soil. I suggest letting the soil rest until April, and adding a balanced organic fertilizer before you plant. Drip or soaker hoses will make watering easier, and you can cover them with grass clipping mulch. Then amend your soil again next fall with more rotted grass clippings. Over time, you will create fantastic garden soil."
Barbara Pleasant on Monday 9 November 2015
"Outstanding feedback from everyone! Thank you all for the tips. I'm starting the grass clipping mulch tomorrow. The tip about starting in thin layers and replying in a week or two....top notch. That was my only concern, spreading it out. "
Cleve on Sunday 12 June 2016
"I have a 40 foot by 60 foot garden... I have about 3 acres of land I use all of my grass clippings on my garden.... I cut my grass in sections so there are blankets of it through out the yard... wait a few hours and just suck it up with the riding tractor bagger..... I used to cut it and bag it all at once but it took too long and made the ground too hot... I never have any grass left over to pile up and rot "
warren on Wednesday 3 August 2016

Add a Comment

Add your own thoughts on the subject of this article:
(If you have difficulty using this form, please use our Contact Form to send us your comment, along with the title of this article.)

 
   
(We won't display this on the website or use it for marketing)



Captcha


(Please enter the code above to help prevent spam on this article)



By clicking 'Add Comment' you agree to our Terms and Conditions