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Composting/Thatch and grass clipping

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Question
I recently dethatched my lawn and removed a large amount of thatch, clippings, and moss.  I wanted to spread it out about a foot thick in an area of the lawn that I want to use as a future flower bed.  As the thatch/clippings decompose the smell is pretty bad.  

If I do not add any more material and turn it regularly about how long will it take before the really bad smell starts to disappear?

I may also add some dry straw I have lieing around along with some sawdust.  Will this help?  Anything else I should add?

I do NOT normally bag the clippings.  Just in the spring when dethatching and sometimes int he fall when picking up leaves with the bagger.

Thanks,
Dave

Answer
Hello David

The smell is an Ammonia like smell? I assume.

Once the Thatch has been exposed, and taken away from the Lawn it will take a while, because it's all Nitrogen, and little Carbon to balance it out. The Straw will only compound the issue, on the other hand Sawdust will help, but EASY on the Sawdust, just sprinkle it in light, and turn it over when you get a chance. This will help with the Decomposition process.

Chopped up Leaves with Grass Clippings is Ideal for the Decomposition process, and the ideal formula if you ever decide to start a Compost Pile.


I hope this helps but if I have missed something, please follow up if you have another question.


The Best of Luck

   Greg

Composting

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As a Master Gardener: taken classes in All Phases of Gardening...I Specialize in Lawns... Pererennials... Compost... Organic Gardening.

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