With it being Winter, many vermicomposters have moved their bins indoors to keep their red wigglers happy and productive. As you probably already know, worms start losing productivity when temperatures drop below 55‘F, so it’s important to keep them out of frigid temperatures so that you can reap as much “Black Gold” as possible for your indoor and outdoor plants.
This is also the time of year when vermicomposters are stocking up on compost so that come Spring time, it can be worked into garden soil, flower beds and beneath fruit trees.
But with indoor composting with worms comes an issue that some vermicomposters like you and I face – the smell. Good maintenance will usually result in an odor-free composting environment, whereas casualness often results in an unproductive, stinky composting environment. And when you’re vermicomposting in your kitchen or another indoor area, this can be a headache for some.
There are a lot of things you can do to prevent a stinky composting bin, and Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm is here to make sure you enjoy your experience composting with worms during the Winter, and we also want to help you get as much compost out of your worms as possible for the upcoming year!
How To Prevent A Stinky Composting Bin
A properly balanced composting bin, yes even with the worms in it, should have a good, earthy smell. It shouldn’t smell much different than rich garden soil. You might think that worm castings (aka “black gold”) might emit a foul odor like other animal dung, but it simply isn’t the case.
You can take a handful of worm castings and take a deep breath, and you’ll experience a wonderfully earthy odor that doesn’t stink at all. If your composting bin smells bad, it’s not because of the castings.
Stinky composting bins are most often a cause of people not allowing enough aeration, or too much moisture or an overabundance of food. If you don’t keep things regular and maintain a good balance, you will experience some smells that come across like sewage or ammonia.
So to ensure that your bin is stench-free and that your worms are healthy and happy, make sure that there is a good balance of air, water and organic food waste in your bin.
- Avoid overfeeding your worms. Too much green material will make your composting bins stink to high heaven. Remember to cut up larger pieces of organic matter so that the worms can eat with more ease.
- Avoid compaction. Keep things nice and fluffy by adding shredded newspaper or cardboard, leaves, dry grasses or peat moss. Keep your bedding fresh and moist, but not too moist.
- Avoid too much moisture. Water does two things, it makes things soggy and compacted. Too much moisture will cause your composting bin to start smelling like rotten eggs. That’s the last thing you want to smell in your kitchen!