Decomposed grass #616387 - Ask Extension


Decomposed grass #616387

Asked March 09, 2020, 6:54 PM EDT

The city was at one time dumping grass on our property... they stopped about 5 years ago and now the pile is decomposed to a nice dark brown dirt. I am trying to pot some french pussy willow and I need rich loamy dirt.. could I use this as a potting medium? Also is there a way to rid it of weeds before I plant or should I just pull the weeds as they appear in the pots? Thank you for your time!

Grant County Washington

Expert Response

Thank you for your question. You have a variety of issues I’ll try to address separately. First, if they were dumping grass and no one was both turning (to get oxygen into the pile) and watering (to keep valuable microbes alive), you may have a heap of smelly (ammonia from non-oxygen using bacteria) residues. Without testing, you can’t know for sure. But, I’d surmise that the passage of time has ameliorated that concern. I would suggest you mix this compost with native soil in a 50/50 mix before planting the pussy willow. As for weeds, this is hard to assess without knowing what weeds are there, but the most environmentally respectful method is to pick out the weeds as they sprout. (And they can be composted in hot conditions!) Good luck!
Kristena LaMar Replied March 10, 2020, 1:03 AM EDT

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