Can You Compost Grass Clippings?

There are many things that can go in your compost bin. It’s not just for leftovers and other organic waste that can’t be thrown away any other way. Even if something doesn’t seem like it would break down easily, if it was alive at one point and is made of plant materials, you can probably compost it.

Although, there are some things that will keep your compost from working well. If you want to get the most out of your compost, you should avoid putting certain things in it.

If you’ve found yourself wondering “are grass clippings compostable?”, “how do I do it?” and “how long will they take to compost?”: you’ve come to the right place.

Can you put grass clippings in the compost?

Yes, grass clippings are compostable. Adding grass clippings to your compost pile will contribute to creating a nutrient-rich fertiliser that you can use in your garden.

Can you put them in the waste bin?

If you don’t have a compost bin, you can put plants in the appropriate roadside collection bin but biodegradable materials like grass clippings are better off being in a compost pile.

Disposing of organic or compostable waste like plants in landfill can contribute to the release of potent greenhouse gases like methane, which has around 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide.

Methane emissions are significantly reduced by composting suitable food waste and organic materials.

How to compost grass clippings

You should add small spadefuls of grass to your compost at a time.

As a green material, you should be adding grass clippings and other green nitrogen-rich materials then a layer of brown to cover it. Remember to use a garden fork or a stick to poke holes in your compost every couple of weeks to mix the pile up.

How long will grass clippings take to compost?

It takes around 3 months for grass clippings to completely decompose in a compost. Because they take a little while to break down, you should try to avoid adding a lot at once to your compost pile.

Grass clippings discarded on the ground or buried in the ground will take longer to decompose.

Are grass clippings a green or brown material?

Fresh grass clippings should be considered a green material when composting.

Materials that are green, like grass clippings, are often more wet and softer recently-living organic material; and are a source of nitrogen (one of the four essential ingredients) for your compost. Green nitrogen-rich materials provide a lot of the vital nutrients that microbes need to speed up the process of decomposition. Ideally your compost mix should consist of about 1 part of green material for every 4 parts of brown material.

Composts rely on green materials like grass clippings to add the neccessary proteins and other nourishment for the microbes to thrive to the pile.

Will composting them attract pests?

No. Grass clippings will not attract pests.

Composting considerations

When composting grass clippings, you should mix some brown material like cardboard with the grass if you’re adding a large amount of clippings at once.

Omar Agor-Wood
Omar Agor-Wood

Omar is a digital marketer by day for one of the UK's largest environmental consultancy companies, and is writing like the world depends on it for Pick Ethical at night. He has a passion for hiking, bouldering, and making a fuss of his dog.

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