Composting Grass Clippings in the Garden and Coop
How to Mulch a Garden or Chicken Run with Grass Clippings
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Composting grass clippings is a great way to save money and make use of all your available resources. One of my favorite gardening tips is to use grass clippings in your gardens! If you have a lawn and it gets mowed, then you have grass clippings. These clippings are a valuable resource and should be kept to use in your garden and not sent to the local landfill. If you use lots of weed killer on your lawn, you may want to wait a couple of months to use them. Here are some ways we use grass clippings around the garden.
4 Ways to Start Composting Grass Clippings
1. Spread the clippings around your garden beds as mulch. Make sure to spread the fresh clippings thinly so they dry out properly. Grass that is wet and decaying will give off ammonia and you don’t want that. If you know how to lay mulch, mulching with grass clippings adds needed nitrogen to soil, helps add a layer of mulch that retains moisture in the soil and also is good for the microbes and worms who feed off of the clippings as they break down.
2. Compost them. If you know how to make compost and keep a compost pile, then you can start composting grass clippings simply by tossing them in to break down and compost. If your pile is not cooking well, the hot nitrogen from the grass clippings can kick it up a notch. Just be careful not to dump in loads of wet grass as it can get slimy in there so if you have lots of wet grass, try letting it dry out a bit before adding it to the compost pile.
3. Add to the chicken coop and run. First, the chickens will love you. Grass is an important feed crop for your chickens and provides nutrients that are good for them and make eggs more nutritious and yolks richer in color. Also, once they spread the grass clippings, they make a great mulch layer that improves the soil quality in the chicken run and helps keep dust down in dry months. Keep that grass pesticide free if giving it to your chickens.
I have met some that have taken the time to use grass clippings in the actual hen house and in the nesting box. You would have to treat it like hay or straw and make sure it is really dried out well. If you are worried about crawling pests, sprinkle some DE in there with it.
4. Leave the clippings right on the lawn as you mow. Nitrogen is an important nutrient for green lawn and as the clippings break down and release the nitrogen, it will help feed the lawn. This is a great tip in fall and spring to organically feed your lawn.
Elaine writes about gardening, chickens, cooking and more at her blog sunnysimplelife.com. Though she lives in the city, she shows how you can raise much of your produce and raise chickens on a small city lot.
Originally published in 2015 and regularly vetted for accuracy.