The compost bin stinks. What should I do?
The possible causes for the vermicompostor’s bad smell are the following:
– too much food: if there is too much food, it begins to decompose (do not feed the worms for a week),
– non-compostable materials: remove these materials from the compost bin and keep a container in the kitchen where you save the kitchen scraps before feeding them to the earthworms,
– exposed remains: cover them with at least 5 cm of wet newsprint strips,
– too much moisture: add dry newsprint or cardboard and leave the composter exposed to the sun without the lid for a while,
– little aeration: drill more holes in the sides of the top container.
There are flies around the compost bin. What should I do?
Flies are a sign that the remains are exposed or that there is too much food. Cover the remains with dry material, as indicated above. Avoid feeding the worms until the food scraps disappear almost completely.
How long does it take to produce compost?
The formation of vermicompost depends on several factors, so it is difficult to say exactly when it will be ready for collection. It is estimated to be between 3 to 6 months. Vermicompost is nothing more than the product of the digestion of organic matter by earthworms and resembles soil.
I’m going on vacation. What do I do to keep the worms alive?
There is no problem going on vacation and leaving the composter unattended for 3 to 4 weeks. Before you leave, add a little more food and make sure the humidity is adequate.
What to do with the liquid and the compost?
The liquid that accumulates in the tray at the bottom of the vermicomposting unit is the result of drainage and contains pathogens harmful to plants. It should not be used in the garden, except to kill weeds. You can make compost “tea", a liquid obtained from solid compost. This liquid can be sprayed onto plant leaves and acts as a fertilizer.
The solid compost is ready to be used directly on your garden plants. Just add it to the soil.
Sherman, R. (2018). 2. Composting. Retrieved 30, September, 2020, from https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/extension-gardener-handbook/2-composting
Vermicompostagem. (2016, December). Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://www.hortabiologica.com/vermicompostagem/
How Many Composting Worms Do I Need? (2019). Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://www.wormcompostinghq.com/start-here/how-many-composting-worms-do-i-need/
Vermicompostagem Perguntas e Respostas. (2013, January). Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://www.hortabiologica.com/vermicompostagem/perguntas-respostas/
Jen Fong, & Hewitt, P. (1996). Worm Composting Basics. Retrieved September 30, 2020, from http://compost.css.cornell.edu/worms/basics.html