Using Lawn Clippings to Mulch Potatoes

Learn about this gardening method for using lawn clippings to mulch potatoes and warm them, increasing the speed of their growth. Includes information on planting spinach for an early harvest and how to use your excess veggies.
October/November 2000
http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/using-lawn-clippings-to-mulch-potatoes-zmaz00onzgoe.aspx
When our potatoes are about a foot tall we drag the clippings out to the garden and carefully pile their warm contents around the base of the plants.


PHOTO: FOTOLIA/REDLADY

A MOTHER reader shares her technique for using lawn clippings to mulch potatoes. 

We have a big lawn, and eliminating the grass clippings had always been a problem. We used to let the garbage service haul away our bags full of clippings — then we decided to use them ourselves . . . on the potatoes.

When our potatoes are about a foot tall we drag the clippings out to the garden and carefully pile their warm contents around the base of the plants, covering them until only the tips of the plants show above the grassy compost.

By using lawn clippings to mulch potatoes the potatoes grow remarkably fast, getting close to five feet tall before tipping over. Heavy rains compress the grass compost into a dense mass, and at harvest time we simply remove the grass mat by rolling it back with a garden rake. Digging down into the soil we find a solid mass of uniformly shaped potatoes, which we simply pick off the ground. This eliminates hoeing and, by leaving the grass compost in place, we can spread it over the garden the following spring.

Doris Stebbins
Danville, VT
 

To have beautiful and delicious greens early in the year, try sowing spinach in the middle of autumn. The plants will grow to medium size before winter sets in . . . and they'll burst forth in the early spring with loads of greens, while your other veggies are just sprouting.

Lance Melon
Woodward, PA
 

Don't let spare garden produce go to waste! Take it to a senior citizens' apartment complex. You'll find plenty of eager recipients.

Margaret Shauers
Great Bend, KS