Clumpy compost, and roots in compost pile
While I've had some success at making compost, the stuff I make in the rotary composter is never the nice, smooth, runs-through-your-fingers stuff that I buy locally.
When using the rotary composter, I get large clumps that are hard to pull apart when wet, and form hard lumps when dry. I can pull apart the wet clumps with some effort, or dry it out and then rub a couple of clumps together like sandpaper, letting the compost crumble to a powder.
My compost has a high content of freshly-mowed grass as the main source of green nitrogeneous material, coupled with kitchen scraps. I do not have a source of straw or hay. The green/brown ratio in the rotary composter is probably overweighted on green.
In my compost pile, separate from the rotary composter, I typically put a layer of brown leaves (if necessary, using last year's leaves, which I store in piles in the woods) as the brown material in between layers of grass. I haven't had as much trouble with the clumping in the pile, but it breaks down much, much slower than the rotary composter.
My guess is that the grass is not fully breaking down in the rotary composter, and the fibers in the grass are holding a clump together until forcibly pulled or sanded apart.
Has anyone else had this problem? What technique did you use to solve it? I don't want to stop using the rotary composter because it's so fast, and my husband likes it.
The compost pile has a different problem. Some kind of small but tough root quickly grows all through it, so by the time it is finished and I'm ready to put it on the garden, it's a real challenge to shovel it. I have to stand on the spade and push hard to break up these little roots in order to free a shovelful from the pile. It's harder work than shoveling the "bought" compost, and I am not able to get at all of the compost because of these roots.
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