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Vermicompost (Garden Tower) rotting

The vermicomposter in the middle of my "Garden Tower -" is rotting instead of composting. There are bugs in the the composter and nearly all 1,000 worms I put in back in June have died (unless they are in the soil part of the tower). I think the initial issue for the worms was not enough bedding material, I put in some dried grass clippings and some newspaper so hopefully that helps. I ordered 300 more worms, my concern is those maggets or whatever kind of bugs they are. Will they be an issue with the worms? Should I scrap the compost or what should I do about those bugs?


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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Vermicompost (Garden Tower) rotting

I haven't looked at the link but I'm not sure how a vermicomposting "tower" would work especially if you are using the typical red wigglers that only inhabit the top few inches of mulch/soil. I don't know if they are equipped to convert the "tower" to equate the vertical surface area to level horizontal area.

Did you post a picture because it didn't show up. Are the "maggots" Black Soldier Flies?

I'm starting a fresh vermicomposter to prep for the winter. I will be keeping mine in the garage.
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Vermicompost (Garden Tower) rotting

The worms could be in the soil part of the system. If you are draining the tower after rain or watering it should not be too wet.

However, no matter what kind of compost system you have there are other creatures in them. I have roaches in mine and I think I am doing more roach than worm composting. The anoles get in my bin and like to eat the worms, so I have had to replace worms a couple of times. Ants, fruit flies and soldier flies will also inhabit the composter. It is sometimes hard to keep them out. The maggots you see may actually be soldier flies. ... -worm-bins

The ratio of food scraps to carbon should be 70%/30%. After adding the food scraps it should be covered with a carbon layer.

I tried a tower once. It was dry on top and wet on the bottom. I also had problems with the relatively small growing space and plants hanging down. I could not use all of the pockets because the plants would grow into each other and I made the mistake once of planting mint in a pocket pot so I knew that would have also taken over in the tower. I ended up planting dry herbs in the top and I had to elevate the tower since the plants in lowest holes like to sag toward the ground.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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