Why is composting “pure” grass clippings so problematic?

Experienced gardeners know: freshly mowed lawn on top of a compost pile rots and smells very bad.

Why? Fresh grass and grass clippings contain a lot of nitrogen. When cut with a lawnmower, the clippings are also dense, with fine structure and lots of moisture. If the pile is therefore lying on the ground (without SUPERCOMP‘s supporting device), the cuttings condense, leading to a lack of air.

These densified areas are ideal breeding ground for the emergence of rotting nests (nitrogen surplus amplified this in addition) and their emerging malodours.

Conventional composters (mostly from the low-price segment) without special technology are nothing more than compost piles inside of a plastic sheath, lying on the ground, often letting with even less air into the pile as there could be without the shell. In these composters, according to instructions, grass cuttings need to be layered with leaves and further waste. If you want to give up on bad smells and have relatively fast compost, you also need to take it all apart and move the pile around quite often (up to every 14 days, as per recommendation).

If you are considering the purchase of a composter “only” for composting grass clippings, you should definitely get a composter with the proper technology.

Note: Studies on compost plants with conventional windrow composting showed that even 24 hours (!) after moving the pile, there already are air deficiencies, as the material falls together, becoming dense once more.


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