How to store lawn clippings


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Old 08-25-18, 10:24 AM
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How to store lawn clippings

I own several properties in a 1-2 block area and we do a lot of mowing, raking etc... and we fill up paper leaf bags pretty quickly. We load them onto my utility trailer and make a run to the local landscape recycling center every 1-2 weeks.

Leaf bags aren't free and if you don't really stay on top of things, the bottoms can get moist and fall apart. I'm wondering if there is a type of reusable container that would be suitable. We tried plastic trash cans a while back and that was absolutely terrible - the clippings would turn putrid so quickly in the summer heat. So I figure it needs to be something breathable that I can store someplace outside, and small enough that I can haul it up my trailer ramp and dump it at the landscape place. The longer I can store it, the fewer times I need to make dumping runs. Does anyone have a solution that won't leave me with fermented lawn juice running down my driveway?

I am not interested in taking up the space to mulch everything on-site and since we would still have to make runs for branches and such I'd just prefer to be rid of everything. And no, I will not just leave the clippings on the lawn - we keep things tidy.
 
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Old 08-25-18, 10:40 AM
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I read what you wrote, and no intent of being argumentative in any way, but I would talk with your local lawn equipment dealer about a mulching mower or the possibility of converting what you have. And, since it sounds like you are particularly attentive to your lawn, I would ask about borrowing or renting one to try. I mow around 2-1/2 to 3 acres with a recycling kit that I installed on my mower the second or third year I had it, and there are exceptions when it gets exceptionally long or wet, but about 95% of the time you would not find clippings accumulated on top of the grass.
 
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Old 08-25-18, 10:42 AM
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I will not just leave the clippings on the lawn - we keep things tidy
Say what? Removing the clippings is not being tidy, it's creating more work at the expense of the lawn.
 
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Old 08-25-18, 10:52 AM
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So you guys are saying you can leave the clippings on the lawn in a way that when someone walks through, they won't just end up tracking lawn clippings into the house? That's been my experience in any situation where clippings are not bagged.

I modified my mower to be even more vaccuumy so it really does a good job of grabbing leaves and small sticks and anything that shouldn't be there. It really cleans up.

My lawns are the best in the neighborhood. Far better than all my neighbors who talk about how not bagging is much better for the lawn.

So the question is about storing lawn waste.
 
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Old 08-25-18, 01:26 PM
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Well, no one is telling you anything, eh?
 
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Old 08-25-18, 01:46 PM
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Personally I dont understand the concern with just leaving the clippings on the lawn regardless if its a mulching mower or a conventional mower.

Yea at time the mulcher gets overwhelmed, an yes the conventional can leave clippings but who cares!

It eventually gets back into the soil which is the best thing to happen and if a little gets tracked into the house thats what vacuums are for.

Picking up all the clippings, storing, and disposing is a waste of time!
 
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Old 08-25-18, 02:19 PM
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Buy a hydraulic dump trailer. Or get a lawn trailer with one of those crank out tarps.
 
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Old 08-25-18, 05:36 PM
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I may eventually buy a dump trailer for many reasons, but I still wouldn't just heap lawn clippings directly into it and let it pile up for a week or two. It would get soupy piled onto hot metal for that long. Rust city.

Sorry, but you guys arguing for just mulching and leaving it behind don't seem to understand what managing active properties looks like. People walk through the yards and use them (tossing a ball, yoga, sitting on a blanket for a picnic or reading a book....) We need to keep everything clean and augmenting the problem by vacuuming the inside of the house every day is not a good solution. Also rich dense lawns just don't operate well that way unless you mow them every other day. Even mowing twice a week, AND bagging, when my bag starts to get full it starts to leave pretty thick lines of clippings on top of the grass.

I've personally spoken other tenants in my area who complain that their landlords' yard services leave the clippings behind and it gets tracked into their houses.

It's always great when you post a simple question and instead of anyone even trying to answer it they all want tell you how terrible an idea it is to do what you're doing.
 
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Old 08-25-18, 06:09 PM
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It's always great when you post a simple question and instead of anyone even trying to answer it they all want tell you how terrible an idea it is to do what you're doing.
Sorry, but that is how things work here. Some people just need a reminder of alternative solutions that they just "might" be blind to. We understand your dilemma. We have all gotten that rotten smell on out hands and clothes. It's like stepping in a pile of fresh horse manure, or worse.

But you have to realize that the entire premise of the question is a little out of the realm of reality.

Does anyone have a solution that won't leave me with fermented lawn juice running down my driveway?
Why do grass clippings ferment in the first place? Because a big pile of grass clippings heats up, especially the longer it sits. Doesnt matter where the grass is, or what its in. It's a natural process. You can't fight nature... if you wait a week or more to dump your clippings... it's gonna stink. And its going to get juicy. Period.

If you don't want to smell it or get juice on you, you have to bag it in plastic bags, or even double bag it and seal it. (Or put it in a trailer where you don't have to touch it.)

Or if you want to think outside the box... lol... maybe if you have a giant walk in refrigerator or freezer you would like to store your clippings in for several weeks... that would work... cuz refrigeration is about the only way you could slow down the decay/fermentation process. (Not too realistic, is it?)

Please don't disparage the replies of people who have taken time to respond to your questions.
 
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Old 08-26-18, 03:02 AM
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It sounds as if your lawn maintenance borders on you having a semi-commercial lawn service.'
What some landscapers have is a lighter weight trailer with high sides and a good tarp cover dedicated to hauling grass.
If you use a mesh tarp the grass will be less likely to ferment.
 
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Old 08-26-18, 06:00 AM
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It's always great when you post a simple question and instead of anyone even trying to answer it they all want tell you how terrible an idea it is to do what you're doing.
Your question is really one of those that does not have a good solution and people are trying to find options for you that might be acceptable.

You cannot store the yard waste for any length of time because it starts to decompose too fast. The real answer is you are going to have to make more frequent trips to the yard waste center to dispose of your yard clippings.
 
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Old 08-26-18, 07:55 AM
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don't seem to understand what managing active properties looks like
Nope, I only manage 64 residential units and 13.500 square feet of commercial space.
 
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Old 08-26-18, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by chimpywrench

I'm wondering if there is a type of reusable container that would be suitable.
...
Does anyone have a solution that won't leave me with fermented lawn juice running down my driveway?

Sorry, nope.

Farmers have been trying to store fresh cut grasses for around 3 thousand years.
If you try to pack freshly cut grasses, they beging to rot immediately.
The only way to store cut grasses is to dry them into hay.

Thus- "Make hay while the sun shines..."
 
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Old 08-26-18, 08:36 AM
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One person's trash is another person's treasure. Have you considered putting feelers out for people (individuals or companies) that are looking for compost material? I mean, that's what you've got going there -- decomposing organic material looking for a home.

Sell it for $1 a bag to offset the bag cost, or let people supply their own bins. Mow the lawn, fill the bin, then call your "customers" to come get it, and you don't have to drive to the dump.
 
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Old 08-26-18, 12:15 PM
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Cylindrical containers made from 1/4 in. mesh hardware cloth. Make any size you want.
 
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Old 08-27-18, 10:07 AM
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I've given away barrels of wood shavings, sawdust, topsoil, etc.... many times. It works to an extent, but my average experience is that it actually ends up being more work to give it away then to just haul it to the landscape recycling place. Yard waste is even less desirable and even if I found someone, they probably wouldn't want as much as I'm producing.

I was thinking about a wire mesh kind of container. Grass clippings can be pretty small though. I wish I could think of a good material to line it with. In a way, I guess paper actually is one of the best materials as it does breath and if/when it gets gross you just toss it with the clippings. If I had leaf bags that were 4x bigger, it would be much easier to dump clippings into them, and I'd probably build a simple wood container (with a hat to keep rain out) to hold them until they're dumped. With a wider bag/container, the clippings would be dumped in thinner layers and have more chance to dry out before the next mowing.

There is one advantage to the clippings rotting: they get smaller. Way smaller. That saves me a bit when I go to the landscape place.
 
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Old 09-11-18, 08:57 PM
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Have you considered composting? Mix in some food scraps and you've got yourself golden garden soil in about 4 months. I tossed in about 250 worms and it's gotten to a point they break down the fresh scraps within two weeks.
 
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Old 09-12-18, 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Sunburn
". . . Have you considered composting? . . .
The Chimp will never go for that . . . . he told us early on not to advise him to leave the clippings on the lawn or to compost or mulch them . . . . he likes to keep things "tidy" !
 
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Old 09-12-18, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Vermont View Post
The Chimp will never go for that . . . . he told us early on not to advise him to leave the clippings on the lawn or to compost or mulch them . . . . he likes to keep things "tidy" !

Ah, that's a shame, missed that part.


By now I'm used to reading about people skipping beneficial opportunities, like a creating community garden where one can advertise their business and dump their clippings once a month to save a trip to the landscape recycling place; or do what Squirrel said
 
 

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