: I just happen to be here in the wreck, and was about the open IE and enter
: "grass composting forum" , with words like low-odour, etc.
: I have about 1700 sq. ft. of lawn I cut weekly, and I need to create a
: composter, for grass only.
The radio show, "You Bet Your Garden" just fielded a question about
how to compost grass without making a smelly mess. Their answer:
"don't compost grass!". Instead, get a mulching mower that cuts the
grass into very small pieces without a bag, and just leave the cut
grass to be absorbed back into the lawn. This will reduce the need to
add fertilizer to your lawn, and won't make a smelly mess. If you
don't have a mulching mower, just take the bag off your regular mower
and let the grass clippings fertilize the lawn directly.
The caller kept asking, "but what can I add to the grass compost pile
so it won't smell?" and the host kept responding, "don't put the grass
into a pile!"
Compost requires four elements: air, water, carbon, and nitrogen.
Grass is very high in nitrigen, like manure and kitchen scraps.
That's why it stinks, just like manure and garbage stinks if you just
piled it up. Carbon comes from fall leaves and woody plants. If you
absolutely must compost the grass, mix it with fall leaves, sawdust,
or fallen branches (preferably run through a chipper). I've heard
that you get better compost if you let the wood sit for a while before
composting it; fresh wood binds with the nitrogen in a way that can't
be easily used by plants.
Some people save their fall leaves so that they can mix them with
their grass clippings to make compost.
I don't know why we're talking compost in rec.woodworking when there
perfectly good gardening newsgroups, but I'm willing to play along.