Can I use grass clippings as mulch for fruit trees?

brittneyt2(6b)May 6, 2013

I have a huge lawn that I do not use any chemicals on. Can I use the grass clippings as mulch for my new fruit trees? I planted 33 trees and don't have any other mulch sources on my property, so I'd like to use the grass if it will work well for the trees.

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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Brittney,

I use grass clippings for my fruit trees and it works fine. All natural and water conservation also.

Tony

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 11:23AM
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brittneyt2(6b)

Thanks Tony!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 11:55AM
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alan haigh

It works for many things (great in veg gardens), but ultimately when the trees come into bearing you may need to stay away from such an nitrogen rich mulch, depending on your soil. Grass clippings really invigorate plants and a bearing fruit tree functions best at a state of moderate vigor.

If you pile too much fresh clippings at once it can also be suffocating if it starts to rot anaerobically. If it stinks, this is the case.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 12:33PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

And keep it away from the trunk.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 3:15PM
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TheDerek

Grass can become matted and compacted to the point that it will actually shed water instead of letting it soak through to the ground. Ideally you would use something more like chipped wood or even straw. As stated grass clippings are also high in nitrogen which may cause excess vegetative growth and my also cause your young trees to not harden off quickly enough in the fall and potentially winterkill, depending on your climate.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 3:19PM
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harbin_gw

Grass clippings high in nitrogen? I very much doubt it. Quite on the contrary. You need to add some form of nitrogen (organic or inorganic) to compost it well. Throw some fertilizer under the trees first than cover with several sheets of newspaper and then put your grass clippings on top of it. This should work fine. Tested.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 4:22PM
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alan haigh

Harbin, almost any green plant tissue is high in nitrogen- just check this link- I have seen organic fertilizers with a lower N content than grass clippings (about 4%).

Here is a link that might be useful: N content of grass clippings

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 4:49PM
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