Why might grass be good for the garden?
Grass clippings decompose quickly and are an excellent source of nitrogen and potassium. In fact, grass has more nitrogen than most natural fertilizers in this book! Used as mulch, grass keeps moisture in and contributes organic matter.
The recipes in this book focus on the edible garden but if you want to use grass clippings on your lawn, it’s important to cut the grass often. When your lawn is dry, take off very little. Leave it to sink down into the blades naturally. If left too long, the cut grass won’t fall through the blades as well.
Where do I find grass?
Recommend you only use grass that is free of herbicides, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Herbicides especially can stay around a long time and contaminate compost and garden beds.
Which plants may benefit from grass?
Grass works great in the compost, and fertilizer tea made from grass benefits lettuce, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi and peas.
Combine grass with…
Seaweed. See the soil drench recipe below for details.
Grass Clippings in Compost Recipe
When fresh, grass is considered a “hot” material because of its high nitrogen content and ability to create lots of heat during decomposition. Hot materials like alfalfa, manures and grass feed microorganisms that turn leaves, straw and other carbon-rich materials into compost.
Grass is great but it has a downside. It tends to clump up, get slimy and form large masses of slime. The key is to mix it with twice as much leaves, straw, paper and other browns. For a regular-sized compost pile or large tumbler, add two 5-gallon buckets of brown materials for every 5-gallon bucket of grass clippings (packed loosely).
If mixed with a variety of seaweed, the grass mixture will take on a fluffier texture with lots of air pockets.
Grass Clippings Soil Drench Recipe with Seaweed
I love combining ingredients to make an even more effective fertilizer. Here’s a good example of a “companion concoction” that works great early on for potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.
Gather seaweed from the beach, don’t bother rinsing. Dry in the sun on screening of you won’t use it right away.
Fill 5-gallon bucket half way with seaweed and grass (roughly the same amount of each). Let it sit in the shade for 1-3 days and use the water to fertilize your plants, applying it around the drip line after an initial watering without the fertilizer.
Grass Quick Tips
- Cut the grass before it goes to seed so that you won’t cause a weed problem elsewhere in your garden.
- Dried grass may be better than straw as mulch because it is richer in nutrients, especially nitrogen. Straw tends to rob the soil of nutrients while it decomposes.