Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Compost Corner

Last week someone asked me what I do with all the grass cuttings on mowing day so today I will show you. I try and put as many as I can in to the compost bins but that’s not always possible so my next favourite place is between the Raspberries. I put them there because the cuttings make a good mulch and Raspberries like plenty of moisture so the grass cuttings help to keep the soil moist also it’s not easy to weed between the rows so they also help to keep down the weeds. Of course this is not advisable if you’ve treated your grass with weed or moss killer. In the main garden there is a shrub border where I can lose a few grass cuttings too. When there are too many for all of these places we have a rubbish dump on some rough ground where they just get left to rot away.

When I put the cuttings in to the compost bin I make sure I mix them with something courser or drier. As you know in the winter months I have to take hay to the sheep so if I get any bales that aren’t very good I put them to one side and then I use this hay in the summer as a dry layer in the compost bins. I usually put it on the top after adding all the grass cuttings and then after a few days just get a fork and mix them together a little. When using grass cuttings I think its best to cover the compost with a plastic sheet to exclude any water from above because the grass cuttings add plenty of moisture to the heap as it is.

Here you can see grass cuttings as I’ve added them to the heap.

Then shake up a covering of hay over them, straw is better if you can get it but anything dry or course will do.

Then make the heap waterproof with some plastic.

And if you have any, old carpet is good to put over the plastic to hold it down and also hold in the heat.

Here is some compost ready for use next spring. I had some Trailing Geraniums going spare so for a bit of a fun thing I stuck them in to the compost.

In the past I've used grass cuttings as a mulch around Cabbages etc. both to conserve moisture and also as a barrier against Cabbage Rootfly.


EB said...

The trailing geraniums growing in the compost are very "you", Bob! But thank you for the answer. Our compost bins are on a very slight slope but after about 3 years they are now leaning badly - of course there's quite a bit of weight in them; we'll have to see to them somehow.

fireweedmeadow said...

I'm going to try putting grass clippings between my raspberries next years - seems like a good idea and I always have too much grass for the compost.