Return to the Vermicomposting Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Problem: Very dense compost

Posted by lville72 6b (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 10, 08 at 16:35

Hello,

TWO ISSUES:

1) I have been vermicomposting since last fall. It seems that I'm getting a lot of nice dark coloring in what I'm harvesting lately, but it seems like it's quite heavy material. It almost feels like a putty. There's nothing resembling what I hear castings look like. Is something wrong?

2) I bought one of those soil testing kits and tested the compost the other day. Ph was 6.5 - Phosphorous and Potassium were abundant - Nitrogen was deficient. I suppose there's a chance I did the test wrong, but it's pretty straightforward. I assumed that, if anything, it would have a high nitrogen content. Did that part of it leak out the tiny drainage holes in the bottom of my bin?

Just some extra info: I usually apply fruit and vegetable scraps, chopped up relatively fine, spent coffee grounds, a little bit of grass or yard waste. And if I add bedding it's usually wet shredded newspaper.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Problem: Very dense compost

for starters, home soil tests are a waste of your cash, real soil analysis requires exacting techniques in lab equipment, even home pH kits are just an approximation

nothing wrong, sounds like you've got the right stuff, fresh from the bin it'll always be dense unless you haven't fed for months, and the nitrogen went into growing bacteria and then into humus ... be aware that worm castings are a soil conditioner, not a fertilizer, and like other composts will be low on the scale for all the major nutrients, but have a wide range of all the micro-nutrients, just like the food that supplied the feedstock

Bill


 o
RE: Problem: Very dense compost

It sounds like the castings are just too wet. If you're using the Divide and Conquer method of harvesting, the castings will dry out a little bit as you remove the worm-less castings from the tarp/working cloth.

It sounds like you have good compost there! I wouldn't worry too much, given what you've fed the worms--everything sounds very nice.

in el cerrito


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Vermicomposting Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here