However, the dog poo worm farm has, quite frankly, become a bit stinky of late.
My long suffering wife reckons that I have a theory for everything, and this is no different.
1) In the last six months our small dog died and we replaced it with another Hungarian Vizsla. So we now have two medium to large dogs. I think that the poo from two largish dogs has overloaded the worm farm.
This theory is based on the fact that the last couple of times I have emptied the bottom working tray of the worm farm, there has still been many worms in it. The worms should move to the upper working trays once all the nutrients in the lower trays have been eaten by the worms. So apparently the worms were not finished their job when I emptied the bottom working tray.
The other aspect to this is that I am losing a lot of worms when I empty the bottom working tray, which means that they then need to breed back up to cope with the additional dog poo from two dogs. This means that they were not consuming the top tray as quickly as they should and it was becoming rather smelly.
2) My second theory is that over the years the ventilation holes in the top and bottom of the worm farm have become clogged, meaning less than ideal conditions for the worms.
The solution to theory number two is easy, although somewhat messy. When you empty the bottom working tray, give the air holes in the collector tray (base) and the lid a blast of water to clear any gunk from them. Easy … just stand well back so that you do not get covered in splash back! This should help the ventilation.
The solution to the first theory is slightly more complicated. I could have just bought a second worm farm and split the poo between the two. However, I already have a second worm farm for vegetable scraps and a compost bin for grass clippings, so I was not keen to add yet another worm farm to the backyard.
Instead, I have purchased two more working trays from Reln (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org). That means that I now have a dog poo worm farm with five working trays. This should give the worms ample opportunity to finish their work on the bottom tray, while also allowing them to breed up to a level that they can quickly consume the additional poo in the top tray. It should also mean that I do not lose so many worms when I empty the bottom tray.
The problem now is the Reln Can-O-Worms legs. They struggle enough with three full working trays (keep the worm farm on level ground to minimise the risk of the legs breaking), let alone five. The solution was to get rid of the legs and mount the worm farm on a couple of large concrete bricks. An easy and cheap solution that will stop your extra large worm farm toppling over and spreading worms and half-digested poo everywhere.
Now my concern is whether the worm farm will get enough ventilation through the air holes to keep five working trays in ideal worm living conditions … time will tell, but things are looking (and smelling!) good so far.
Incidentally, I have seen comments on the internet of people having trouble with the tap breaking off their worm farms. I personally leave the tap always open, permanently draining into a bucket. This has the additional benefit of keeping the moisture in the worm farm down.
The other point I have seen on the internet is people putting whole eggs in their worm farms. While egg shells may help with the worm farm’s ph balance, any egg left in those shells will become very stinky. Anyone for the smell of rotten eggs in their worm farm?? Not good!