Composters, Grass Balls, and Frogs! Oh My!

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Dual Composter

I recently was asked the following questions about rotating composters:

Hello! I have two of the 80 gallon compost tumblers. These are the best composters ever, and believe you me I have had 4 other composters. These are actually working and one of them is almost ready to use. My question – I have rescued over 30 baby frogs from inside and I have NO idea how they are getting in there. Do you? Have you ever heard of this? I feel so bad for them. Before I turn it, I always check to see so they don’t get smashed. Thank you for taking the time to get back to me. […] PS Is it normal for composters to get those round balls of grass etc. and will it eventually break up?

Regarding the “grass balls”
Grass Balls are not terribly uncommon in any rotating composter when “wet” grass clippings are added. They stick together and roll around and become “grass balls”. Will they break down? Eventually, yes, but it’s probably easier just to sift them out when harvesting the compost, crumble them, and add them into the next batch.

To reduce them from forming, grass clippings can be “spread out” and dried before adding them to the composter. This is an extra step and takes more time, so most people don’t do it.

One can also “scatter” the clippings around the composter, adding a light layer of grass, then closing and rotating the composter, then adding another light layer, and repeating the process until all the grass is mixed in. This also adds time to the process, but will help keep the clumps from forming.

Regarding “baby frogs”

That’s a new one on me! Since frogs lay eggs which hatch into tadpoles, I can’t imagine a mommy frog laid eggs in the composter, nor that material was added that had eggs on it (or tadpoles swimming on it). I suspect some material was added to the composter that had baby frogs (froglets?) on it – rather than them getting into the composter on their own. I’m sorry I can’t offer you better advice about your frogs, but wow, what a story!

Comment

  1. Well, as of today, May 20 2013, I have rescued over 70 little frogs from my composter. They are so cute and seem very happy to see the sunshine for the first time. I still don’t know how they are getting in as this is now the third year. Maybe from leaves.

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