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Did I ruin my harvested vermicompost?

Efrat, Israel

I harvested some beautiful, earthy smelling vermicompost for the first time. I didn't know better and put it all in a closed container. After two days, it smells like a dead fish. The worms have risen to the top and there were a bunch of eggs - I hope worm eggs. Is it ruined? It is quite wet, so I left it out to dry a bit. I'm afraid that it might get too dry like that. The weather here is quite dry.
My next plan is to store it in a plastic laundry hamper.
I could use help!
Thanks, Rina

Phoenix, AZ

How are your worm castings after a couple of days of leaving your container open? Does it still smell fishy? I am new to vermiculture so I have only read things, some here on this site. I am reading that some people are keeping worm castings for a couple of months in a covered bucket or in baggies. Also, that it is good to keep it a little moist to keep the microbes happy. What a mystery that yours changed from earthy smelling to fishy. Why? That's a good question.

Wake Forest, NC(Zone 7b)

Probably it was too wet and it killed all life and went to anerobic (no oxygen) decay - which is the bad smell.

Pour it all out into a bigger container (a Home Depot plastic 5 gal bucket costs about $3. ) then stir the mess thoroughly and leave it outside in the shade for stink protection - stir as often as you can stand (I'd guess maybe 2 days) just until the smell goes away. In Israel, you may need to sprinkle some (not a lot) of water every day - you want moist but not wet or soggy.. Then add a hand-full of your good worm soil which will contain some more eggs. Mix and use in your garden or pots.

Hey you desert dwellers - maybe you need a special thread for desert vermiculture/vermicomposting?

Paul

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