Last year I used scotts crab grass pre-emergent in the early spring and weed and feed a few months later. My question is would it be safe to use my grass clippings a few weeks from now in my compost bin if that will eventually be going into my veggie garden? I'm a little worried about this and I can't seem to find answer I trust anywhere. I will not be using those items from here on out so any advice regarding feeding my lawn a healthier way would be helpful also. Thanks in advance!
You have treated with a herbicide designed to stop the growth of wide leaf grasses.
Then you came back with another herbicide that also contained a chemical fertilizer (mostly N and just a smidge of K and P).
I would not use any clippings from that space myself, but it is your decision.
Those herbicides will remain for at least a couple of years in the soil by the way.
Compost teas are great for lawns as are items like green sand and any other Organic products both liquid or granular.
Lawns do great with the same sort of helpers that you use for leafy greens.
If your lawn is really healthy, you don't need to worry about "weeds" since the grass plants will shade them out of existence if the lawn is cut to 3 or 4 inches in height.
Most people cut their grasses to short and that is what creates the "weed" growth.
Scotts weed n feed has two herbacides, 2-4-d and Mecoprop-p. Both are moderately toxic and have relatively short duration, though traces may be found in the soil months later under certain conditions. Both have the potential to leech out of the soil with heavy or repetitive rains (or heavy irrigation), but 2-4-d more so. In most situations, very little , if any, will be persisting in the top couple inches of soil the following season. I personally have no experience with these chemicals, and my information came from a pesticide course I took a few years back. Funny thing, my instructor was anti-herbacides but presented some rather straight forward, seemingly unbiased information.
Both Oregon State and Cornell host Extoxnet information. If you google "Extoxnet", they should come up. Extoxnet is a good source of info about ag chemicals. Dry reading, but good basic scientific info.
How would I feel about using your grass clippings? Assuming that you mowed your grass several times last year, have had at least 30"-40" of rain or irrigation, and won't be applying anything this spring, I would feel comfortable using the grass clippings in an active compost pile. On my farm, any of my own compost piles that might contain contaminants (for example, I added garbage or orchard waste given to me my friends), I normally inoculate with fungal spore once the pile has cooled. Then I let the fungus work for a couple months before using that compost. Therefore in your scenario, I'd make the compost this spring or early summer, let it sit over the summer, and in the fall till it lightly into the soil just before seeding my winter cover crop. When I lived in NJ, I used to use winter rye as a cover crop. ......That's just one option on what to do with it.
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posted 2 years ago
Thanks!!! If I use an organic lawn fertilizer like Dr. Earth Lawn Fertilizer can I compost the grass clippings then? Or should I just stop feeding my lawn and let nature take over? It looks much better now than when I boiught my house and would hate to lose all that I worked for. Thanks!
You'd be perfectly fine composting grass that was given organic fertilizer. But seriously, read paul's article about lawn care. His title (Organic Lawn Care for the Cheapnd Lazy) is very appropriate. I'm actively trying to encourage other plants to grow in my yard, and my grass is still getting lusher and overtaking many of the other plants.
posted 2 years ago
Great! Last questions. If I lay down some lime in a week or 2 can I still use the clippings later in the season? How would lime affect it if it would eventually be put in the veggie garden. Thanks so much!!!
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