Q: I pick up my grass clippings and put them in the back of the yard. The pile is enormous. Is there anything I can do to get this mess to decompose to a useful substance?
A: The best way to decompose the grass pile is to throw a handful of fertilizer on it every week and then wet the pile with a hose. The nitrogen and water should really perk up the organisms that compost the grass. If you don’t see steam rising from the pile on a chilly morning in November, the fertilizer trick wasn’t enough.
In that case, place a six inch layer of sticks on the ground nearby and pile a twelve inch layer of grass onto them. Wet the layer with a hose, add another foot-thick layer of grass, wet it down and so on. The sticks under the pile allow oxygen to penetrate to the center. Adding water assures that the fungi and bacteria have an even better environment throughout the pile. The composted grass clippings can be added to garden beds you dig this spring.