Grass clippings

Just started a compost pile today with a bin I made of oak pallets. Everyone was very helpful with my wood chip question (I'll add some but sparingly) for composting. I also got 2 books from the Library yesterday that will be my evening reading for the next few days.
New question re: grass clippings. I intend to use some in the compost bin along with other garden greens & browns etc but as I was adding them I got to thinking - why not add some directly to the unused garden area now and mix them with the dirt so they breakdown(?) and may be ready for next years crop of goodies? Soil is sand & a lot of clay so it sticks in clumps as hard as concrete.
I also was thinking about adding them as cover to the in-use garden area now to help hold in moisture (mostly sand). Then in fall I'll turn the soil so they too are mixed in. Are either of these in general no-no's? FWIW, I'm in Albuquerque (zone 7) almost no rain and mid 90's so its hot and VERY dry. Regardless, I still intend to do the compost pile though.
TIA, again
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The combination of brown and green compost faster than either by itself.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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John DeBoo wrote:

That works and you could plant a fall cover crop also.
--
Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8b
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wrote:

The action of making compost will produce a biologically superior product. Congratulations on making the first step in developing a vastly improved garden.
Here is a helpful link in building a successful thermophilic (superior) pile.
http://www.gardenplace.com/content/calculator/mulch_calc.html #
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The herbacide clopyralid is the one that seems most persistant in grass clippings. You can test for it's presence in compost by how it affects the germination and growth of garden peas. The more residue present the more stunted and distorted the pea foliage is. At 75 parts per billion they really look bad. It does hang around far longer than desirable.
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John DeBoo wrote:

The only problem with that idea is, if the clippings include seed, you're tilling it right in where you don't want it to grow. Other than that, this plan works just fine; we till in our crops every fall in the veggie beds with no problem at all.
Chris Owens
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wrote:

I just recently learned that I should mulch my grass clippings, leaving them on the lawn. I was bagging the grass early on basically to use as mulch in the garden. When I started doing that the grass now needs cut every two or three days and looks better than in July when we had above average rainfall by 2.88 inches. At our current rate we will be about average for August.
Contrary to what many people believe, mulching the clippings does not contribute to thatch build up.
sparkie
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