Grass clippings okay for mulching blueberries?

basilno(4)June 16, 2014

Any reason this would be a problem (the grass is untreated and this time of year it builds up too much in some places to let it compost)?

We haven't fertilized them this year (in the past we've used comp. cow manure- the dog eats any other organic fertilizer I've tried).


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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

The only problem would be laying them on too thick as fresh cuttings. A thick layer of fresh grass clippings turns into a stinky, slimy, gross mess.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 9:22PM
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alan haigh

And the gross mess creates anaerobic conditions which can harm the plants. You could mix it with leaves, which helps keep it airy.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 5:19AM
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I would never use grass clippings. Use Pine bark, pine needles,"not hemlock". It's better if the pine bark is aged a little bit. I buy a one ton truck load every three or four years. It's a lot cheaper than buying by the bag. filix.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 6:00AM
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I'm leaving a sizable open area in the center - the clippings are going in a ring where the dirt/ previously mulched area meets the lawn - so there's air from either side. I'm not worried about the gross factor- it's the plants I'm concerned with - I was hoping they'd get some nitrogen from it?

(And part of the idea was to use something we need to get rid of.)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 7:19AM
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When I did landscaping in Central California I had 10 acres with lots of fruit trees and other ornamental trees. We generated almost a full pickup load daily during the spring and summer. We would spread it around the trees. When It got 12" deep it would mold. If we only spread it 3-6" it wouldn't. This was almost a desert climate of 30% humidity.

Before I got enough customers to bring in that quantity of grass I had a problem keeping enough moisture to keep the trees healthy. Afterwards, not so much. Granted that was about 2 years later.

This was in a rural area with the trees far enough from my house so the visual effect was not like in a suburban area.

Now I'm in central Missouri and live in a small city. I use wood chips that I get yearly from tree trimmers who keep the power lines safe. What you have available makes a difference in what you use.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 8:42AM
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I don't like using grass as mulch, but it can be used just fine with no ill effects to the plants. I just find it rather messy. However, consider not applying large amounts at once. Green grass clippings compost quickly, and in quantity can create quite a bit of heat.

Why not use a mulching mower so you don't have clippings you need to get rid of? You can return the nutrients to the lawn while mowing.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 10:08AM
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We do let the clippings mulch into the lawn- but this time of year (particularly above the leach field) it builds up too fast and we need to rake up the worst of it.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 8:48AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i would cut more often over the field.. rather than rake it up ...

my experience.. is that grass as a mulch is not only useless.. its a detriment ... for the reasons noted above ...

when i moved to 5 acres.. one lesson.. quickly learned... was that i did not have to mow all of it at once ... so just mow the field.. when it needs it.. and return the clippings to the lawn ..

and another thought.. when you do fert.. skip the field ... its apparently not lacking in fert.. and also over juiced in that regard .....

you are stuck in a box of already having the clippings... so i am suggesting.. you figure out.. how not to have them.. eh???


    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 8:53AM
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Thank you all for the good advice regarding the lawn. In an ideal world we would mow the section in question twice a week, but at present that simply isn't realistic. We have never fertilized the lawn (other than via the leach field) and do often mow some places more than others. Weather, work, other activities and in particular the care of our 3 year old and newborn twins has a tendency to get in the way of lawn care. We would like to mow more often, but have never cared enough about having the 'perfect lawn' to manage more than once a week.

Any other opinions regarding the blueberries? I may not have been clear, I'm talking about applying the grass clippings 1-2 times/ summer (when it gets to be too much, not after every mowing).


    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 2:07PM
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I can sympathize with mowing not so often...
Fortunately my neighborhood is raw and natural so no-one cares...but the bit in front has to get done eventually and we often have to rake a bit.

Can you mix it with something? I have a leaf pile and a few bags of aged saw dust by the compost pile. In one of my trugs i like to mix with saw dust for my blueberries. Or spread it out on a leaf gathering tarp for a week before mulching. Dry out some of the soggy clumps....

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 2:26PM
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alan haigh

Grass is a very enriching mulch, high N but it tends to be relatively neutral- so not helpful to blues in that regard.

I've used grass for decades for vegetables and anything I want to get cranking, so I wouldn't call it useless. You just might have to stir it a bit if it mats down and starts to rot anaerobically.

Because you are suggesting placing it away from the plants a bit, I see no real problem with putting it to use. You want those blueberries to size up in a hurry.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 6:21PM
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