MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR GRASS
Grass clippings can be used in lots of different
ways round the garden so you can never have too much. They will only
go soggy and smelly when piled up in a great, airless heap where the
bacteria that make good garden compost cannot work.
put your clippings -
In the compost bin
About one grass box full of clippings can be added
to a plastic compost bin at one time. Then add a bucket full of
weeds or some drier material before adding another load of clipping.
A large New Zealand Box will cope with much more - at least 3 or 4 grass box fulls.
Grass clippings add
moisture and, because they heat up fast, will make your compost
work well. The high temperature also helps kill off weed seeds. So keep adding grass to your bin.
In a special grass box
When you have large amounts of grass at any one
time, you may find it useful to build a special collecting bin. See
our leaflet Composting
for details about how to do this.
As a mulch
Where you have bare soil round a shrub, tree or
beneath a hedge, place a layer of paper or cardboard on the ground
and tip on the grass. Keep topping up every time you cut the grass.
The paper or card prevents any weed seeds in the grass from growing.
They will quickly die after germinating. By the end of the season,
the paper will rot down and the grass will make the soil richer. You
can use mulch like this in the veg garden, round peas, beans and
potatoes, making sure the grass doesn’t actually touch the plant
a hot bed
Courgettes like to put their roots down into warm
soil. The best way of warming the soil is to dig a hole at least one
spade’s depth and shovel in some fresh horse manure. An alternative
is to put a thick layer of fresh clippings, 25 – 30cm deep, into the
hole before topping up with soil. You’re putting the heat to good
In a weed stew
Mix perennial weed roots – couch, ground elder or
docks – with the same quantity of grass in a black plastic bag. Tie
a knot in the bag and leave it in a sunny place. After 3 or 4 weeks
everything will rot down and you can put the ‘weed stew’ in your
compost bin, knowing these foul roots have been killed off.
X Do not
use, in any way, grass clippings from
lawns treated with Verdone Extra, Verdone Extra Ready to use,
Verdone Extra Spot Weeder or Weed-B-Gone.
These herbicides contain clopyralid which persists in compost made
from treated clippings and can stunt plants grown in that compost.
For further guidance on this see
Composting Lawn Clippings that have been treated with Herbicide
our free leaflet Composting Grass Clippings
If all this is too much for you, consider turning at least part of
your lawn in to a meadow by adding plug plants of native wild
flowers and cutting just once a year in autumn.
If you have removed a lot of moss
from your lawn find out how this should best be composted.
If you have any home composting questions
Contact us and we will try to give you a helpful answer!