I received this email from Vicki:
"Hi Colleen. I've had my worm bin for a little over two months, and for the last week or so it has started to smell rotten. I keep reading about how worm bins don't stink, but mine definitely does! What can I do to get rid of the smell?"
Thanks for the question, Vicki. I think that in the zeal to sell people on vermicomposting, many writers overstate the simplicity of worm bins. Worm bins that are being properly maintained don't stink. But the key phrase there is "properly maintained." And if you're new at worm herding, figuring out how to create the optimal conditions in your bin can be rather hit or miss.
There are a few things that can cause a worm bin to be smelly. Most commonly, the cause is too much moisture. This can be caused by adding too much water to the bedding, but is more often caused by adding too much "wet" food at once. Melon, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes -- all of these are very moist foods that can cause an excess moisture problem. Luckily, it's pretty easy to fix a wet worm bin.
Other issues could be that you've added too many smelly foods, such as onions or garlic. If that's the case, remove as many of those as you can, and hold off from adding any more of them for a while. Also, be sure to avoid adding meat or dairy, as the spoilage of these foods will definitely make your worm bin smelly.
I hope this helps! A smelly worm bin is annoying, but it's pretty easy to remedy, and you'll be back to a sweet-smelling bin in no time.
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