microlaserpro
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Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:06 am

Rescue an old pile of grass clippings?

Hi,
I've 'inherited' a sizeable pile of old grass clippings in the garden of my new house.
Taking a section through it, I can see several different layers that I guess represent different years: a thin layer of dryish grass on top, a brown layer with a lot of the grass structure still clearly visible, followed by a rather stinky, squidgy wet brown layer with a texture like, um, wet clay (to choose a polite description).

Can this be rescued at all (or even used as is)? Ideally I want to get rid of this pile as it isn't very conveniently located. I've set up a couple of bins in a better area which I'm trying to start up as a new compost heap following the advice here.

At the moment I have available:
lots of long grass and/or grass clippings
a couple of leylandii (Leyland Cypress) trees (been through a wood chipper)
some dead scots pine (from a hedge) (also wood-chipped)
an apple tree/currant bushes that need pruning/thinning -> would produce lots of fresh twigs
as many sycamore tree seedlings as I can be bothered to cut down from the road verges nearby.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Rescue an old pile of grass clippings?

You have the right idea; you do want to mix your grass clippings with some carbon rich materials. But your grass is partly broken down and the wood chips won't break down for a long time. I would want some easier to decompose "browns" (carbon rich stuff), like shredded paper, fall leaves if there are any still around, straw.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

microlaserpro
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Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:06 am

Re: Rescue an old pile of grass clippings?

Many thanks. Not so many leaves around at the moment, but plenty of old newspapers. Does it need to be shredded very finely (I don't have an office shredder)? I might be able to get some shredded documents from work though.

Should I be looking at adding an equal volume of loosely packed shredded paper?

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rainbowgardener
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Rescue an old pile of grass clippings?

Shredded documents from work would be great and yes, equal volume more or less. Otherwise you could tear up your newspapers, but it would be a lot of work. You wouldn't have to get it down to shredder size, but probably no more than half a notebook paper size. You don't want it matting down or excluding air and water circulation.

In the fall, look around for bags of leaves that people put out by the curb. I collect a dozen or so of them every year and that gets me well in to summer, feeding them into the pile a bit at a time. They make good mulch too.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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