mtgarden gal
Senior Member
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:46 pm
Location: Southern Montana

moldy grass clippings...

Hi all!
I was saving some grass clippings for mulch and discovered this morning that they were very wet and moldy. (yes, lesson learned) I am assuming that it is NOT a good idea to use moldy grass clippings for mulch, right?

Also, do I put a nice thick layer of grass clipping mulch around my red onion plants? wasn't sure about this.

Thanks!!

User avatar
stella1751
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1494
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:40 pm
Location: Wyoming

I definitely use moldy grass clippings. It is rare that I am able to use them as I get them, so I leave them in trash bags. I've never had a problem. I've always just assumed that the mold is part of the natural decay, which can't hurt, and I like the way the clump into thick mats that are easy to place around the plants and that don't blow away :lol:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

mtgarden gal
Senior Member
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:46 pm
Location: Southern Montana

stella1751 wrote:I definitely use moldy grass clippings. It is rare that I am able to use them as I get them, so I leave them in trash bags. I've never had a problem. I've always just assumed that the mold is part of the natural decay, which can't hurt, and I like the way the clump into thick mats that are easy to place around the plants and that don't blow away :lol:
thanks, Stella. BTW, do you mind i I ask what part of wyoming you are in? I lived in Powell for 2 years.

tomc
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2665
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Mold is a part of ordinary decomp. Its fine to use as mulch. As clippings dry out this too passes.

Grass clippings are pretty ephemeral as mulch.

Fast or slow, off to mulch it will go. In my garden anyway.
Think like a tree
© 2016 Invisable Inc.

mtgarden gal
Senior Member
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:46 pm
Location: Southern Montana

ok thanks guys!

Can anyone answer about mulching around my red onions?

User avatar
stella1751
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1494
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:40 pm
Location: Wyoming

mtgarden gal wrote: thanks, Stella. BTW, do you mind i I ask what part of wyoming you are in? I lived in Powell for 2 years.
Hey, you're in my part of the country. I didn't look at your location when I responded this morning. We're almost neighbors.

There aren't all that many of us who dare to garden up here! I'm in Casper. What part of southern Montana do you inhabit?

More importantly, did you freeze last night, too? I was never more annoyed than when I checked the weather at 4:45 a.m. today and learned we were sitting at 32 degrees. I had covered my plants last night, putting upside down containers on everything, but I hadn't covered them thoroughly. I had some anxious minutes before I could lift the covers and see how they fared :shock:

Everything lived. It's now 74 outside, and we will get to 88 tomorrow. I'm getting out early tomorrow morning to do my gardening stuff.

As for the red onions, I don't grow those, but I mulch my garlic, if that helps.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

mtgarden gal
Senior Member
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:46 pm
Location: Southern Montana

Stella, I live in Billings. I'm originally from a small town in northern montana, but moved "down south" when I got married.

Gosh, I don't think it was freezing here last night. I was in my garden this morning and all my plants looked ok. I usually watch the weather report at night to make sure it's not going to get too cold and I think it was supposed to stay in the 40's.

I did put a couple of poor tomato plants out before our 3 weeks of rain/cool weather/flooding and they look pretty pathetic right now, so I'm hoping they pull thru. This is my first garden so I'm learning. I have now learned to not be so anxious to put out my tomatoes. :shock:

User avatar
stella1751
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1494
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:40 pm
Location: Wyoming

I think, but I'm not sure, that Billings is in Montana's banana belt, as is Torrington in Wyoming's banana belt and Rapid City in South Dakota's. That's a very good thing for a gardener: warmer temps, a longer growing season.

There's not a thing wrong with putting out tomatoes early, other than that you have to work like mad to keep them alive. I put my first tomatoes out in the first or second week of May, and they should begin producing in time for me to have July tomatoes, a very good time in this part of the country.

Yes, they look like they've just gone a round or two with Mike Tyson, but they have some lovely new growth on top. In a week or two, once they have enough healthy leaves to thrive, I will prune the branches that are twisted, broken, and shredded from the wind, and the only way anyone will know that I put them out so early is that I will have July tomatoes.

By the way, speaking of tomatoes, keep a close eye on the tomato and seed exchange forums. By doing this and by making friends with forum members, I wound up with some GREAT tomato seeds. This year, I am growing an heirloom called Early Wonder from seeds I got from another member. Very tasty, very early, and, from what I've seen so far, very hardy. Next year, I have some tomato seeds from another member that I am dying to try, more early variety heirlooms.

I am also going to experiment this year with saving seeds from the Early Wonders. That's why I decided to grow only one variety, so they breed true. My neighbor hasn't even planted yet. Our weather has been pretty unfriendly this May. For this reason, I am feeling pretty confident that the first few tomatoes from my Early Wonders will breed true. (Another neighbor is growing topsy turvies, but I doubt those plants will stay still long enough for any bee to collect pollen without suffering whiplash.)

I've never saved seeds from tomatoes before, and from what I can see, it's tough, but if it works and if these tomatoes prove as ideal as I hope, given their survival and their early production, I will give you some seeds if you want. You will probably want to remind me, but I suspect you will see me asking questions in the seed saving forum when the time comes around :lol:

Oh. I lived in Sunburst from 1962 to 1964. That wouldn't happen to the be the small town to the north, would it?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

mtgarden gal
Senior Member
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:46 pm
Location: Southern Montana

stella,
You sound like you know a lot about the different types of tomatoes. I'm still learning. All I know is I've got 4 different varieties, 2 of them are grape types. I would have to go dig out my seed packets to remember what they are called. I wanted to do something different than just the typical grocery store variety. I hope they turn out good.
Thanks so much for your offer of tomato seeds! That sounds great. Some day after I figure out the ins and outs of gardening, I may try saving seeds. You'll have to let me know how you did at it.

What else do you grow? How many years have you been gardening?

I grew up in Conrad, which is about 30-35 miles south of Sunburst. But still close! :D

(I wish I truly did live in a REAL banana growing climate, as fast as my 3 kids eat bananas!! :lol: )

User avatar
stella1751
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1494
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:40 pm
Location: Wyoming

mtgarden gal wrote:stella,
You sound like you know a lot about the different types of tomatoes. I'm still learning. All I know is I've got 4 different varieties, 2 of them are grape types. I would have to go dig out my seed packets to remember what they are called. I wanted to do something different than just the typical grocery store variety. I hope they turn out good.
Thanks so much for your offer of tomato seeds! That sounds great. Some day after I figure out the ins and outs of gardening, I may try saving seeds. You'll have to let me know how you did at it.

What else do you grow? How many years have you been gardening?

I grew up in Conrad, which is about 30-35 miles south of Sunburst. But still close! :D

(I wish I truly did live in a REAL banana growing climate, as fast as my 3 kids eat bananas!! :lol: )
I'm not familiar with Conrad, but I was just a kid way back then. I remember my parents shopped in Shelby or Cutbank and my father worked in Sweetgrass. There was a town across the border we went to on occasion; I think its name started with a "C."

The four states in the upper or high Great Plains generally have a "belt" of warmer zones that get missed by the jet streams originating in Alaska or the Sierra Nevadas or the Pacific Northwest. We call those warmer zones "banana belts." I think only North Dakota, my place of origin, is missing one. It gets everything nature can throw at it :lol:

I am really just learning about tomatoes. I've been gardening for a long time, over twenty years, off and on, but before I got involved in this forum, I grew the old standby short-season varieties: Better Boy, Early Girl, Fourth of July, and so on.

Last year, I tried heirlooms for the first time. I was stupid, though, and didn't research the variety I chose (Delicious variety). I bought it because it had one of the shortest growing seasons. It turned out to be a diva. It wouldn't set fruit if the temps at night dropped below 55 or the temps during the day rose above 85.

I fought those plants all summer long, too. They got early blight, which is very rare in dry country like mine.

However, the fruit was incredibly delicious, seriously. I had never tasted a tomato like those before. I am now hooked on heirlooms, but I need to find ones that work in this country. I am pretty excited about these Early Wonders. They are supposed to be very early, like 50 or 60 days.

Visit the tomato forum to see some truly lovely varieties. Many of the members grow dozens of different varieties each year. Others experiment with deliberately crossing certain heirloom varieties to get the tomato that is perfect for them. I just grow my one or two varieties a year, looking for the perfect slicer. Once I've done that, I will seek the perfect canner 8)

My favorite plants to grow are hot peppers. If you can extend your season long enough by covering plants, they do very well in this country. They are a drop-dead gorgeous plant, and they let you know straightaway if they are unhappy. You give 'em what they want, and they will produce their ever-loving hearts out!

I've reached the stage where I really, really want to make watermelons work for me. I'm on my second year of trying, and so far, I'm having no luck at all. They want warm soil, and that's something we don't really have until mid-June. I'm thinking about it, though, and I have an idea I will probably run by the members later this season: Plumbing heat tapes. Next year, I will have watermelons, if I have to invest in electric blankets!
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

mtgarden gal
Senior Member
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:46 pm
Location: Southern Montana

You'll have to let me know if you have success with your watermelons. I would love to be able to grow cantaloupe, but from what I understand, need more warmth and longer season also. I keep seeing small greenhouses advertised, like 6 ft by 8 ft, but I don't know how much they ould extend the season. I don't know much about greenhouses.

User avatar
vegetable-gardener88
Full Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 1:59 pm
Location: UK

I wouldn't put too much around the onions because they need the air to get a skin. But we do use a thin layer between our onions.

We use grass cuttings everywhere - at the moment it's between the asparagus bed. Unfortunately we just don't have enough grass clippings. :)

mtgarden gal
Senior Member
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:46 pm
Location: Southern Montana

vegetable-gardener88 wrote:I wouldn't put too much around the onions because they need the air to get a skin. But we do use a thin layer between our onions.

We use grass cuttings everywhere - at the moment it's between the asparagus bed. Unfortunately we just don't have enough grass clippings. :)
Thanks, vegetable-gardener88! I will keep a thin layer around my onions. Hoping the new storm system moving in doesn't blow all my grass clippings into the next town!

User avatar
vegetable-gardener88
Full Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 1:59 pm
Location: UK

Your next door neighbours will then get the benefit:) :)

Return to “Organic Gardening Forum”