Using Newspapers As A Source Of Brown Material For Composting

I have a Tumbleweed composter and last year when brown material was scarce, I shredded many newspapers and used them in the composter. I won't make that mistake again. They just balled up in large clumps compared to the rest of the composted material. Looked like compost on the outside but newsprint on the inside. I put this composted material on the garden last fall and when I tilled the bed just last week, I'm still tilling up clumps of newsprint about 3" in diameter that still didn't decompose after spending at least 6 months at which time I hand dug the bed turning the compost under the soil. The best source of brown material I found so far is fallen leaves in the fall but my problem is, where do you find good brown material to ad to the composter during the summer months? Lost of green material with all the grass clippings but very little brown material.
Rich
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EVP MAN said:

I've used shredded paper in making compost batches quite often, and there are two things you need to do to make it work.
1) Greatly increase the amount of 'green' material you are adding to the batch. Where leaves can be something like 60:1 (C:N), paper can be as much as 200:1. You may even need to add supplemental N from a bagged source (fertilizers) to balance out a batch with a lot of paper.
2) Mix DRY PAPER with the green ingredients as thoroughly as possible before binning it. Add moisture only AFTER the paper has been mixed with the 'green' ingredients.
<snip>

Well, the grass could happily accomodate those clippings, as long as you mow frequently enough to keep them from clumping up. I only rarely bag up the grass clippings.
However, you asked where the 'brown' material could come from.
At our place, we scrounge* massive amounts of leaves each fall, then shred them and bag them in heavy 'contractor' grade trash bags. The shredded leaves get tamped down as much as possible in the bags before they are tie-wrapped closed.
The bags are stashed in the back corner of the yard and are available for use in mulching or composting year rounds.
I'd pay good money for bagged, compressed shredded autumn leaves at a garden center. We're not getting any younger, here.
*Conveniently set out at the curb by non-gardeners. There is an art to selecting which bags are worth grabbing. Usually you pass up any bag that seems heavy. And always check to see if there are any large dogs in the back yard...
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

"Vegetables are like bombs packed tight with all kinds of important
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On Sat, 13 Mar 2010 02:34:45 -0500, White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

I got plenty of brown right now, but it can get scarce in the summer. Same with winter composting--lots of brown but little green. It is easy to make brown material by spreading green material and allowing the sun to dry it out for a few days. Perhaps you used too much newspaper or it was not shredded enough. I have a load of sawdust and bark chips, but I know too much is not good for an active compost heap.
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I like the idea of spreading green material in the sun to dry for a few days. I'll do that with some of my grass clippings and then rake it up to use as brown material.
Rich
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