Composting lawns: what to look for to avoid rot

If you want to compost your lawn, there are a few tips to keep in mind so that the grass can really become nutrient-rich compost. Here’s how to do it.

The way to good compost soil

There are several approaches to properly composting lawns. If you want to put the lawn clippings on an existing compost heap, you should only let it dry for a few days after mowing. Mixing grass that is too moist with your compost can start to rot, rendering all of the compost useless.

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Wet grass clippings begin to ferment and not rot. Microorganisms are created that do not decompose the garden waste. Instead, sugars and proteins as well as methane and hydrogen sulfide are formed, which are responsible for the unpleasant smell.

Therefore, first let the lawn clippings dry directly on the mowed meadow or in another suitable place. Then you can mix it loosely in small portions with the other compost materials, which should include kitchen waste, leaves or coffee grounds, for example.

Alternatively, lawn clippings can also be used as a cover for the compost. To do this, sprinkle it about a finger thick as the top layer on the compost heap.

Mix grass clippings with wood

Another way you can compost the mowed lawn is to mix it with chopped wood. With this method, moist clippings can be used immediately after mowing. To do this, mix the lawn and wood chips together in roughly equal amounts and create this mixture as a specially provided compost pile.

A compost bin is particularly suitable for this. After just one week, the clippings have broken down. The wood chippings, on the other hand, do not rot as quickly and can therefore be used again and again for new mixtures with lawn. There is no need to add extra moisture to the compost if you regularly add moist clippings.

Don’t just compost turf

As a general rule, you should not use lawn clippings as the only base when you want to compost lawn, but always mix them with other ingredients.

If cut grass lies in a heap, it can become very hot and promote the formation of microorganisms. The compost material usually clumps together, is poorly ventilated and eventually rots instead of becoming compost. This also creates very unpleasant smells.