As a lawn owner, you probably know that the best way to keep your grass healthy is by fertilizing it. But what about those clippings?
If you bag them up and throw them away, then not only are you wasting valuable resources, but you’re also doing a good job polluting the environment.
Essentially, grass clippings are an excellent source of nutrients for composting. They are also a great source of free mulch for your garden and flower beds. When you compost grass clippings, you are using a resource that would otherwise go to waste.
In that case, this article will discuss how to compost grass clippings fast. We’ll discuss the different methods of doing so and provide instructions on making your compost pile.
- How to Dispose Grass Clippings
- 1. Place them in a Yard Waste Container
- 2. Use them as mulch
- 3. Use then As Animal Feed
- 4. Use them for Your Compost Heap
- How to Decompose Grass Clippings Fast
- 1. Use a Compost Heap
- How to Make a Compost Heap Yourself
- 2. Compost them with Greens
- 3. Use a Compost Accelerator
- 4. Use a Compost Tumbler
- 5. Use a Compost Aerator
- Making your Compost Aerator
- 6. Use a Commercial Fertilizer Mix
- How to Compost Grass Clippings Fast (FAQs)
- Can you make compost from just grass clippings?
- How long do grass clippings take to decompose?
- Is it okay to use grass clippings as mulch?
How to Dispose Grass Clippings
Before we delve further into the topic of composting, let us look at how you can properly dispose of your grass clippings.
1. Place them in a Yard Waste Container
Although you can compost grass clippings, putting them in the yard waste container is still a good idea.
Yard waste containers are not as picky with what goes into them. It’s just as okay to put grass clipping there as it is to throw away an old cardboard box or some furniture from your attic.
2. Use them as mulch
Mulching involves covering the ground with a layer of organic material. This is beneficial in that it will reduce weed growth in your lawn.
When you mulch, you create an environment where the grass clippings can go into the compost heap (discussed later) to become nutrients for your plants.
To use as mulch, spread them evenly over the surface of your lawn and garden bed. You’ll have to repeat this method eventually because the clippings will start to rot after some time.
3. Use then As Animal Feed
Another option is using grass clipping as animal feed (if you raise animals). Most farmers and ranchers are always looking for decent sources of animal feed that are organic and free.
Grass clippings are a great source of nutrients that your cattle, chicken, and hog can eat.
4. Use them for Your Compost Heap
The reason why we mostly recommend using grass clippings is because of their high Nitrogen content. In addition, you can collect tons of them throughout the year, so it will be an excellent way to help fertilize your plants and keep the earth green.
While it’s not recommended to use grass clippings as the only source of ingredients for compost, you can use them in large amounts to help boost the nitrogen levels in your compost pile.
How to Decompose Grass Clippings Fast
Grass clippings are one of the easiest things to compost. They readily and quickly decompose when mixed with other compost ingredients. But if you don’t know how to incorporate them properly, they’ll take a while to break down.
There are different ways on how to compost your grass clippings fast
1. Use a Compost Heap
If you’re into composting, then there is a good chance that you already have at least one. But if not, it’s easy to make your own in no time. All you need to do is create an open space and gather the ingredients.
A compost heap is basically a huge pile of organic matter where it’ll undergo biological decomposition. It will take about 1-3 months for them to break down fully.
How to Make a Compost Heap Yourself
The best way to make a compost heap is by using this three-step process.
- Layering: In the first stage, you’ll have to lay down grass clippings in alternating layers with other decayed organic materials like dead leaves and fruits. Doing this will allow for faster decomposition of materials because they won’t pile up, and air can easily reach all parts of the compost heap.
- Turning: The second stage involves turning your ingredients every once in a while so that they can decompose from different angles. It will hasten the decomposition process since you are breaking internal bonds when mixing them up.
- Covers: To keep moisture levels high, you should use shelters or some other barrier so that they’ll stay wet. You could use a tarp or anything similar to this.
2. Compost them with Greens
The second way to compost grass clippings fast is by adding “greens” into the mix. The greens can be in the form of other vegetable plants, kitchen scraps, and manures.
If you have many of these items lying around your home, including them in the mix will not hurt.
3. Use a Compost Accelerator
Incorporating grass compost accelerator, fertilizer, and soil conditioner will help the breakdown process go faster. The best way to do this is by mixing it with other compost ingredients like hay or straw before you add your grass clippings.
Purchasing a commercial accelerator can be an option for you. It’s readily available in garden supply stores and online. You only need to apply them once a month or as directed on the package, and that should be enough to hasten the decomposition process.
4. Use a Compost Tumbler
Another option on how to compost grass clippings fast is through using a compost tumbler. A compost tumbler is essentially a giant barrel with a rotating base to help the ingredients break down more quickly.
This will turn and mix the ingredients around to mimic what happens inside a compost heap. If your goal is to make sure that they decompose quickly, this is a good option.
5. Use a Compost Aerator
A compost aerator has the same function as a commercial accelerator. It’s simply a container that you can use to mix your grass clippings with other ingredients.
You’ll have to turn it occasionally so that air can penetrate all layers of the compost pile.
Making your Compost Aerator
If you don’t want to purchase an aerator, there are some things that you can make at home. One example is making an aerated box or bin out of wood pallets and covering it with chicken wire or other metal screen material.
This will allow for good mixing without having to spend money.
6. Use a Commercial Fertilizer Mix
There are actually many ways to compost grass clippings fast, and simply adding fertilizer is another option. If you want to compost them effectively in a short amount of time, then this is one way to do it.
How to Compost Grass Clippings Fast (FAQs)
Can you make compost from just grass clippings?
In a way, yes. You can collect grass clippings and pile them up somewhere outdoors so that they’ll decompose.
However, the process will not be as effective without adding other ingredients because grass clippings are mostly cellulose.
How long do grass clippings take to decompose?
It takes 1-3 months for grass clippings to decompose. However, you can hasten the process by adding a nitrogen source, turning the piles often, and using other methods.
It’s actually fine to use them this way, especially if you don’t have any space for a compost pile. It will break down easier than the wood mulch.
Composting grass clippings is a time-consuming process, but there are various ways to make it happen faster.
For example, you could use an aerator or commercial accelerator if you’re in a hurry and don’t want to wait for the compost heap to break down on its own.
You might also consider mixing fertilizer into your pile of ingredients as well. If none of these options sound appealing, then another option would be using a compost tumbler that will turn everything around and mix them up quickly to decompose faster.