[nafex] Winter Mulching: grass??

Lucky Pittman Lucky.Pittman at murraystate.edu
Fri Nov 16 09:45:54 EST 2001


The grass clippings will be just fine - this late in the season, N will not 
push any new growth, and the tree will benefit next spring from any that 
happens to make it down into the rootzone.


At 07:56 AM 11/16/2001 -0500, Tom O. wrote:
>The high nitrogen content of the green grass will speed up the
>decompostion of the leaves.  It also saves the nitrogen in the soil from
>being used during the decomposition process.

Tom, maybe I'm being argumentative, but I keep seeing this thing about 
mulches 'robbing' nitrogen from the soil, and I just don't buy it.  Never 
have been able to find anyone who could convince me that it really happens.
I can believe that if you tilled sawdust, shredded hardwood mulch, or even 
oak leaves into the soil that, yes, the decomposers would utilize any 
available nitrogen in the area while breaking them down - nitrogen is the 
rate-limiting factor in decomposition of woody material.
That said, I just can't buy the premise that woody mulch applied on top of 
the ground 'robs' nitrogen from the underlying soil.  Yes, it'll 'tie up' 
any that is applied on top, and some will, inevitably, be utilized at the 
soil/mulch interface, but from deep down in the soil - I don't think so...

If any list members would care to enlighten me, I'm all ears...




>You can always add nitreous fertilizer and lime to a compost pile.
>
>I just built a large compost pile of maple and oak leaves.  Between each
>layer I used a couple of gallons of OLD water saluable fertilizer, and a
>few handfulls of lime.  Any old fertilizer you want to get rid of will
>work.
>
>Only wish I had enough manure to layer some in there too.
>
>Later,
>Tom
>
>--
>
>
>On Fri, 16 Nov 2001, Ginda Fisher wrote:
>
> > I would like to mulch some new plantings (prunus fruticosa, cornus mas,
> > some established stuff) with my fall leaves, after running them through
> > the mulching blade of the lawnmower.  But I haven't mowed the lawn in a
> > while, so the shredded oak leaves are mixed with a fair portion of
> > grass.  Does anyone think the nitrogen in the grass will be a problem?
> >
> > The cornus mas was planted in the spring, and should have somewhat
> > established itself this year.  The prunus fruticosa was planted a week
> > ago.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Ginda Fisher
> > eastern Mass., zone 6
> >
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Lucky Pittman
USDA Zone 6
Hopkinsville, KY


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