earthworm farms,home composting,worm farm,building earthworm farms,compost bin,earthworm farms stinkOne of my favorite things to do is building earthworm farms. It is a pretty easy activity that can be a great weekend project. Maintaining your earthworm farms is a completely different story though. They can be fickle at best, so it is sometimes very hard to figure out what to do. Thankfully, they sometimes drop us a few hints to tell us what they need us to do. Here are a few basic problems that I encounter with my earthworm farms and what I do to troubleshoot them.
The most desperate problem I encounter, which happens every so often to everyone, is when some of my worms try to escape or even die. Naturally this is the most serious problem for any earthworm farmer to encounter. Worms don’t think like humans. If their environment isn’t perfectly suitable, they move on to greener pastures as quickly as they can crawl. If your worms are dying or trying to get out, the first thing you need to check is the environment in the earthworm farms and re-examine if it is suitable for your worms.
-If the compost bin is too wet, that is if there is standing water in the bottom, you should verify that your drainage holes are not clogged and add more bedding to help disperse the moisture.
-If the compost is very dry inside, simply get a glass of water or a hose and spray down the bedding. Your bedding should be moist enough that when you wring it out, you notice a few drops fall.
-If the bedding has been completely decomposed, your worms will have nothing to live in but their own compost. This is a common reason worms try to escape. Simply harvest your compost and add new bedding to your earthworm farms.
If your earthworm farms stink, this can be very unpleasant. There are a few reasons that cause this and a few things you can do to try to clean up the air in your compost bin.
-The first thing you should do is check the moisture level in your bin. Sometimes if your compost bin is too wet it will cause odors. If the water content is high, verify that your drainage holes are not clogged and add more bedding.
-The next thing you should check is how much food is in your earthworm farms. If you are adding food quicker than your worms can decompose it, the food will stagnate and start to rot from bacteria. Simply remove some of the food and slow down how quickly you add food.
-If these options don’t work, drill more holes in the top of your compost bin to allow for more aeration.
Possibly the most common concern I see about earthworm farms is about fruit flies. Stopping fruit flies from hanging around your earthworms is a very easy thing to fix. They are there because they can smell the food inside your compost bin. When you add waste to your earthworm farms, dig a hole down into the bedding, place the food, and bury it. By burying the waste, you prevent the smell from escaping the compost bin.