Glass clippings for vegetable garden safe for compost?

garden
by .gsr.

MicheLLe asks: Glass clippings for vegetable garden safe for compost?
If I scoop my grass clippings into my garden to help prevent weeds from taking hold, and to give extra compost to my garden, would this be okay? Or does the grass take root and begin growing again?
Thanks for any advice? Also, is newspaper a safe and good weed preventative/compost additive? (I already use kitchen scraps and old flowers or plant leaves in my garden by cutting them into small pieces and letting them decay naturally)..I am just being over run by weeds, and I do everything completely 100% organic.

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Answer by Ishtar
Grass clippings are fine – grass spreads by roots and runners and won’t spread from cut blades of grass. It’s a good nitrogen source for the compost pile. Newspaper is safe, as are tissues, paper towels, and shredded cardboard, all of which add plenty of carbon to the pile but not much other nutritional value. Most of the stuff you have listed as additives are ‘greens’ so you probably need the ‘browns’ represented by paper products. Dried fall leaves are best, though – do you collect your leaves in the fall for composting?

You can lay down newspaper several sheets thick, or sheets of corrugated cardboard, in order to smother weeds and grass underneath it in a garden bed – punch holes in it to plant seedlings, and cover with mulch so it looks good.

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3 comments

  1. I used grass clippings for years. In fact, I told my neighbor that, when he was done cutting his grass, just throw the clippings over the fence and I would use them.

    The only thing to be concerned about is if you use a high nitrogen fertilizer, like Miracle Gro. This causes a high nitrogen fertilizer content in the grass clippings. And, not all plants like that type of fertilizer. In fact, most flowering plant fertilizers are a lot more balanced (13-13-13, for example) than a high-nitrogen grass fertilizer.

  2. A couple of cautions are in order. If the clippings include weed seeds or grass seed, you could have a problem. And if the newspaper has colored ink, that can be toxic.

    If the clippings do have seeds, a good way to kill them is to start a compost pile large enough to get hot and kill them. Our clippings heat up very fast, but without turning can take years to compost. Luckily, we have enough space to wait, and this clipping compost gets added to the veggie garden by the cartload annually.

  3. I have been mulching with grass clippings for years and haven’t had a problem. If my garden needs more mulch I let my grass bet a little long before cutting so I can use the clippings. Newspaper is safe to use as mulch or compost. Its cellulose wood fiber and will add organic matter when it breaks down. I prefer to mulch with straw or grass because water will pass through. It tends to run off from newspaper.

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