Fresh lawn clipping as mulch

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Re: Fresh lawn clipping as mulch

Postby Johnboy » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:36 pm

Hi Richard,
Is the fertilizer additive Fe or FE. Fe is iron but do not recognize FE.
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Re: Fresh lawn clipping as mulch

Postby Ricard with an H » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:19 pm

It'll be Fe JB. Also a lot of other stuff that I suppose is to do with controlling non-grass species. Sorry, I was away from the helm today so will check with you tomorrow about the contents. Seems difficult to buy lawn nutrients without the wed-and-feed tag if you use granular chemicals.

I used chicken manure for years but dogs eat it and get the runs so I gave on an excellent lawn fertiliser where I just go around with a spray to deal with lawn weeds, or not.

Mostly after a couple of applications most lawn weeds are giving up so for the following few cuts I risk composting the cut grasses in a long term composter.

I just bedded a lot of grass cuttings down in straw, I get my straw from the adjacent barns for nothing other than to walk 100 paces. It works well but you have to get the mix right and I try to add some soil.
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Re: Fresh lawn clipping as mulch

Postby Kitchen69 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:22 pm

This heap of green can simply go to your municipal compost facility if you have one or you can use them to help your landscape. For us, truly lazy gardeners, leave the bag off and just let the clippings do their work in the sod. Grass clipping garden mulch is simple, effective and one of the sneaky ways to benefit from garbage.
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Re: Fresh lawn clipping as mulch

Postby Ricard with an H » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:00 am

For some reason mulching lawn mowers are less popular than expected by the manufacturers, I don't know about lazy gardeners but I do know that picking up cuttings and disposing of them is extra work. Avoiding extra work isn't being lazy.

The problem with cuttings left on a domestic lawn is that you walk the cuttings into the home unless you have a shoes-off routine. Even a decent boot/shoe scaling mat will quickly fill with grass cuttings.

I mulch and I pick up depending on where the lawn is in relation to the barn and depending on how much previous cuts have left cuttings yet to rot, it can get messy.

On the paddock I never pitch up, often the cuttings don't rot fast enough
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Re: Fresh lawn clipping as mulch

Postby chrisg » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:15 pm

I guess that I`ve always done it wrong, then! Just about all my lawn clippings, of which there are plenty, get spread over any uncropped area, and then are rotovated in once the area is fully covered to a depth of about 2 - 3". Obviously, there`s a slug problem with this in the early stages, but given a bit of time, it has always worked very well for me. The same goes for hedge clippings. First pulverise with the mower, then hoover up and spread onto the veg patch.
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Re: Fresh lawn clipping as mulch

Postby Ricard with an H » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:53 pm

I do what I think you are doing Chris, it's always better if the clippings can dry though if I have to many for the compost then first I pile them under bushes or other places where I need weed control.

Also, if I'm assured the grass cuttings will dry quickly I place them anywhere I can dig them in. Dry grass cuttings have made some decent soil for me though I never expect much in the way of nutrient other than nitrogen.

Right now I'm layerering straw and grass cuttings with soil and other green garden waste.
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Re: Fresh lawn clipping as mulch

Postby Ricard with an H » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:32 am

I just received the granular fertilizer I referred to in an earlier post, the recommended application for potatoes is 100 grams per square meter. That's twice the application for vegetables and flowers and outdoor application is heavier that if you grow under cover.

I didn't know that, told you, I'm a plonked.

Back to pure lawn clippings, I often have well dried clippings on the paddock during summer. I'm now wondering if I should blow them into a pile and use them, it's a lot of extra work I can do without and I'm not entirely sure about the difference in efficacy of dried cuttings compared to wet. If they just loosen the soil it might be a bonus for me, and many others.

What do you think about nice clean dry grass cuttings ?
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Re: Fresh lawn clipping as mulch

Postby Geoff » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:45 am

"Know and Grow" vegetables suggest these application rates for 7:7:7 Growmore:

Peas 0 (I believe a little fertiliser gives them a better start)
Carrots, Radishes 1 oz/sq yard
Broad Beans, Parsnips, Swedes 3 oz/sq yard
Lettuce, Onions 4 oz/sq yard
Calabrese, French Beans, Turnips 4 oz/sq yard
Leeks, Early Potatoes 6 oz/sq yard
Potatoes, Beetroot, Spinach, Cauliflower 8 oz/sq yard
Sprouts, Cabbage 10 oz/sq yard
(for other vegetables just think what they are most like)

So I suggested 6 oz/sq yard for your potatoes, this is 203 grams per square metre but your fertiliser is 15:9:20 so 95 grams per square metre so my book agrees with your supplier!

I've never heard the suggestion of treating covered and uncovered differently, I suppose it is to allow for leaching.
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Re: Fresh lawn clipping as mulch

Postby Ricard with an H » Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:00 am

Thanks Geoff. I could have used Growmore I suppose, I already have a stock of Growmore. I only buy 15 or 20 kilo sacks, it's a lot cheaper than small quantities and delivery is free.

The application rates for covered/uncovered are 30 and 50 grams per square metre for the stuff I just bought.

I also bought Fish-blood-bone and I have bone meal left over from the hedge planting but I'm not entirely sure where to use what. I dug some bone meal into the planting holes of perennial flowers/shrubs.

What about carrots ? I see you include an application for carrots. I sowed carrots into ground that hasn't been treated since last year and grew kale. I was going to dig more sand/grit into the carrot bed just to ease pulling out because the soil in that bed is still quite firm. Do you have beds that are specific for carrots ?

Dry grass cutting really loosens the soil but I didn't want artistic carrots this year.
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Re: Fresh lawn clipping as mulch

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:05 pm

That's very exact, I suppose so you don't waste it by putting lots on ones that don't need much. I'm afraid I just chuck it on by the handful and rake it in before planting and top up occasionally if anything looks like it needs a bit of a boost. I'm a bit more selective how and where I apply Q4X but my general method for Organic extra, BFB or Growmore is the handful method between generous applications of home made compost. The grass mowings are usually mixed into the compost heap or a mulch along the soft fruit rows.

I prefer nice tender brassicas rather than the coarse tough things that high nitrogen produces.
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Re: Fresh lawn clipping as mulch

Postby Ricard with an H » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:59 pm

PLUMPUDDING wrote:I prefer nice tender brassicas rather than the coarse tough things that high nitrogen produces.


That is very interesting, I didn't know that. And yes, I used to just throw nutrient onto the soil in random amounts which if you knew me you would find odd because I am obsessive. Right now I have digital scales for my shed so I can weight and yes I did measure though I still won't understand frequency.

I understand frequency when it comes to a glass of beer or wine, when it's empty, fill it, if you talk a lot of nonsense or start to wobble then put the cap on. This should work with the garden but how do we know ?

I need to put 1% on my carrots, presumably when they are in full growth though I would rather use comfrey water.

I just got the Carmarthen roller out because the soil on the paddock could respond and it is a bit lumpy, to lumpy for my sore bones riding a ride-on tractor with metal springs under the seat that don't work well smoothing out those paddock lumps.

More alcohol then. (Smile)
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Re: Fresh lawn clipping as mulch

Postby Westi » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:27 pm

Richard - you are amazing & very funny actually!

I understand frequency when it comes to a glass of beer or wine, when it's empty, fill it, if you talk a lot of nonsense or start to wobble then put the cap on. This should work with the garden but how do we know ?

What a brilliant analogy of the difficulties it is to understand the magic that is feeding our crops? Will I ever manage to weigh anything - not likely! If they look poorly they get a boost - by the handful not by grams though! Generally they perk up so far, but this rotation lark means land prepared for the last crop may not suit the next crop if I over do it. I've basically given up on the magic of feeding, too complex for my liking so going for the suck it & see method. Working so far! Basic principles still used but not down to the gram!
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Re: Fresh lawn clipping as mulch

Postby Geoff » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:15 pm

There's no need to weigh everything, just calibrate your hand. Measure an area, weigh out the amount, spread it and remember what it looks like for next time then do it by eye. Most crops only need one application at planting time. Over Winter crops can have a Spring boost but I rarely bother.
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Re: Fresh lawn clipping as mulch

Postby Johnboy » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:01 am

Hi Geoff,
We use our liquid feed from the bathtub and find that right now in July the carrots need a boost and especially where the thinings have given us nice young fresh pullings. I am afraid with carrots I use pelleted seed and plant one seed every inch and then thin out to three inches spacing for the final harvest and they will get just one other aplication of bathtub liquid feed in September. I generally have a splendid crop and that sees me through the winter and almost up to the thinnings next year. I might have to buy about 6 medium carrots a year. When lifting the final crop I generally put a fork right into the ground and waggle it a bit a few inches from the row to facilitate easy pulling. There is nothing more annoying when you snap a carrot in the ground.
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Re: Fresh lawn clipping as mulch

Postby Ricard with an H » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:37 am

It took me two seasons too get the right application rate for the domestic grasses fertilizer going through one of those roller-applicator thingies, you can get it badly wrong easily and end up with tram lines of over-or-under fertilized grass or kill the lot off so I'm nervous.

With the bone meal I just shovelled some into the planting hole when I planted my mixed hedge, the thought of me measuring the area of planting and weighing each amount is more comforting than just shovelling a random amount and killing each bare root plant after all that digging but the plants are doing ok and my excuse if I needed one would be that bone meal is very slow release and the soil at the top of the banks is mostly sub-soil.

How about this then, when I make coffee in the morning I used to weigh the coffee grounds. Then I bought a grinder that grinds in parts of a second for each cup. 9.3 seconds to kickstart the day. No kidding, it's German.

My carrots are just starting to germinate, or it's weeds. Trouble is I need to keep slug pellets down to stop the slugs hoovering-up the seedlings like they did each year before Westi told me to use slug pellets on the soil as the seedlings emerge. Do slug pellets work if they get wet ?.

With this amount of rain I'm keeping the covers over my potato seedlings because I'm concerned the seedlings may rot in the soil before they produce foliage, is this realistic or just more evidence of OCD ?
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