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storyg 06-01-2006 07:25 AM

Grass clippings for garden
I know that grass clippings can be made into compost but I was wondering if I could put fresh grass clippings around my tomato plants to keep the weeds down. I know it gets hot as it starts to decay but would this hurt the tomatoes? Also would it cause any other problems?


Square Eye 06-01-2006 12:29 PM

If the grass has come to seed, the seed will really take off in your garden.

It's far better to compost first, separately. This gives the grass time to decompose to a suitable condition.

CraigFL 06-02-2006 06:03 AM

I never had luck using grass clippings as mulch. They mold, rot, look & small bad quickly. It's because they mat down and air can't circulate like wood chips.

inspectorD 06-02-2006 08:46 AM

Cut it out!!
To keep down the weeds around the tomatoes,tamatoes...use a piece of cardboard, just cut a slit and a hole to go around the plant and lay it on the ground.
It can get wet and let the water in....weeds out..:D

storyg 06-05-2006 07:39 AM

After I posted this I remembered that the grass will rott unless you turn it and I did not think about the seeds that may sprout. I like the idea of the cardboard and think I will try that. I have lots of cardboard.

Thanks for the responses

ALPS 06-07-2006 11:07 PM

Hate to disagree on my first post here , but...

Grass clippings are great as a mulch!!

First off they are FREE. Bag 'em, rake 'em dump 'em out on the garden. Sure, they break down fast, but your lawn gets mowed every week, right?

The compost pile is a great spot for the lawn clippings, but in between rows in the garden is good,too. It feeds the soil with organic material as it breaks down, gives the worms and roots a moist cool environment to live in, conserves moisture, suppresses weed germanation and slows erosion.

Yeah, it can heat up if you pile it on thick so don't spread it more than 2-3" thick. It can get slimy and rot if piled on thick and it isn't layered with with a "brown", so top it off with straw.

The method used here is: In between the rows we spread out well rotted horse manure 1/2-1" thick, lay down newspaper 4 or 5 layer thick and overlap all edges, Dump on grass clippings3-4 or 5 " thick, top off with straw 2" deep. Keep piling on grass clippings as it breaks down over the summer to off set the slower-to-rot straw. Dump on shredded leaves in the fall. Side dress rows with compost and weed very little (the newspaper keeps it from germinating).

Next spring it's all worked into the soil by the worms. You won't need a tiller at all and, if you start now, you'll notice a difference by next spring.

I use just grass clippings as a mulch in a raised bed for my garlic. Nuttin' but grass 2" deep...and I need to add more tomorrow...

EDIT: if you use just grass around your tomatoes keep the grass an inch or two away from the stem. Other than that PILE IT ON!!!

HUNARI 07-05-2006 09:50 AM

Newspaper works best for gardens. It is easier to work around plants than cardboard.
Grass clippings can become toxic if used in huge quantities.

cara 05-22-2007 06:28 AM

VE response in regards to grass clippings for gardens. I put it down thicklyover the pathways between the rows, because I was a tad leary of the excessive heat but over the summer I threw caution to the wind and just piled it on over results I've ever had using any kind of mulch!

squig 06-01-2007 06:34 AM

For many years we had a large organic vegetable garden and used only grass clippings as mulch. I never had to pull weeds, and we never had any kind of rot or problems whatsoever. It worked wonderfully for our garden.

DannyBoyBlue 05-29-2008 10:20 PM

I have used clippings for my tomatoes as mulch, too, for years. I've never had a problem with rot or weeds. I do occasionally turn the clippings. But I've had great success with tomatoes, and a lot less watering is necessary. Do it!

I'm a grass mulcher so I get my clippings from my neighbor.

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