Tag Archives: sheet composting

“Can I Compost This?” Series #2: Grass clippings

Hey Tyler, can I compost grass clippings?

Of course.  But there’s a right way and a less right way.

I recommend spending the least amount of time and energy by cutting the grass and letting it sit there.  The fancy term for this is “grasscycling”, but really it’s just “not cleaning up your mess after mowing the lawncycling”.  This method is obviously “natural” and helps reduce evaporation a good deal.

If you really have to clean the stuff up, you’re gonna have to spend some time making sure you don’t ruin your compost heap.  Ensure the grass clippings are dry, as wet clippings just clump up and prevent air from circulating through the pile.  Second, add them in small amounts (thin layers) mixed with other materials such as dry leaves to minimize the issue.

Shred the dry leaves and mix them with the dry grass clippings.  In the past, I’ve had great compost mixed with huge annoying clumps, which consisted mainly of leaves that weren’t shredded finely enough and excessive grass.

As for pesticides and herbicides, are they a concern?  I’ve never used them so I can’t comment there…the jury seems to be out on this one.  If you can ensure your pile gets to hot temps for a few days straight, the chemmies would most likely break down.  Overall, that decision is up to you, though.

To conclude, composting grass clippings is fine, but take caution in how you add it and make sure it’s not wet.  Easy enough.