Q: In your recent article about composting, I didn’t see grass in your list of greens that are OK to compost. I’ve recently started composting and primarily use the oak leaves I saved from winter and St. Augustine grass clippings. I’m layering green and brown every week. That’s OK, isn’t it?
Answer: Whether you should be composting grass clippings depends on what chemicals you are using on your turfgrass. If you use insecticides and pesticides and put the grass clippings in your compost pile, you may be killing off all the insects you need to help with the decomposition process. If you don’t use chemicals on your turfgrass, you can compost the clippings. However, leaving the grass clippings on your lawn provides a good source of nitrogen which can allow you to decrease your turfgrass fertilizations by one or two per year.
Lynn Barber is the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods agent at Hillsborough Extension. Reach her at BarberL@hillsborough county.org.