Answers to composting hiccups
A wet and smelly compost pile means the organic waste has become too compacted leading to a lack of oxygen and the release of smelly gases.. What you need is more dry matter and air gaps. Remix Powder helps you do just that!
Layer kitchen waste with adequate amount of Remix powder daily to avoid compaction. No waste should be visible.
When dealing with an already smelly pile, stir Remix Powder into the contents (you can take out batches into a bucket and do this). This will absorb the extra moisture and loosen up the material. You will notice the stink disappear.
Read this article to know more about why aeration is important for smell-free composting and how Remix powder helps.
Black Soldier Fly Maggots appear in all compost heaps. They are nature's scavengers and composting superheroes! They love a very wet pile.
We understand that they take some getting used to. Lots of stirring (air) and adding Remix Powder can control their numbers.
Add Remix Powder with 2 tablespoons of turmeric and Neem Powder to your kitchen waste to absorb the extra moisture. Stir well.
Add Compost Microbes to the pile. This will speed up decomposition and increase the temperature of the pile. Since maggots die above 40 degrees centigrade, this can control their population to an extent.
Another solution to prevent them from crawling out is to make a Maggot Moat (see image).They usually cannot crawl out of that slippery vertical surface.
If you do find a few outside your composter, just scoop them in a container and drop them under a tree - birds love them!
Scroll down to know more about this wonderful creature.
Fruit flies can be a real nuisance but they are not a health hazard. Here are three tried methods of controlling them:
1. Cover fresh waste with enough Remix Powder till no waste is visible. Use our Fly Protector as an inner lid and then place the composter lid. This is an effective way of keeping fruit flies in check. Basically, no visible waste ensures no surface for the flies to sit on.
2. Use a liberal dose of Lemon grass spray on the composter and pile. You can make this using lemongrass essential oil, diluted in water. Also you can burn a "diya" with lemongrass essential oil near the Kambha.
3. Use the electric mosquito bat to swat the flies every 2 days.
For a DIY fruitfly trap, write to us.
xYou are generating more waste than your composter can handle
You may need to invest in another composter or a Leave-it Pot for maturation and storage. If you use an existing container lying at home, make sure it is well-aerated and has a lid.
OR Composting is too slow as the conditions are not right.
Make sure the pile is moist (not dry) for optimum composting. Add Compost Microbes in water to speed it up.
xHmm… your pile has a composition that attracts ants. Not all piles attract ants as it depends on your diet and the ambient conditions.
Different solutions seem to work for different homes -
Use vinegar around the pot and on the outside surface liberally.
Some say baby powder sprinkled around the base of the product also helps.
Others vouch for cinnamon powder.
You could also try Borax powder from a medical store which works really well.
Turmeric powder can also be sprinkled around the base and inside the pot.
Rain getting in can create a very soggy and smelly pile. Relocate your composter to a more sheltered spot. If you cannot, keep the rain out with our Elegant Composter Raincoat. While our composters have not been designed to withstand heavy rainfall, a little rain going in doesn’t adversely affect composting. Add Remix Powder to absorb any extra moisture and prevent a stinking pile.
So, you hate lizards, is it? Well, some organic waste composters attract lizards and spiders. Scared? Then tap the composter with a stick before you open it. They usually scamper away. You could spray some lemon grass on the pile and vinegar on the outer surface. Do try to get over your fear of lizards and spiders - they are important for the ecosystem. They won't harm you and they only want to make friends :)
Decomposition will stop if there isn't enough oxygen, nitrogen or moisture. Nitrogen comes from food scraps and half done compost. Oxygen from a well-aerated pile. Moisture comes from organic waste too but leaving the pile too dry (due to fear of smell or of maggots) will stop decomposition altogether. Microorganisms need moisture to live on and decompose kitchen waste.
For optimum decomposition:
Stir the pile to get the oxygen circulating again.
Sprinkle water and stir well to homogenise the pile to get the microorganisms working again.
Add in some accelerator to speed up the process.
Make sure that the pile is moist - not soggy, but moist.
Ensure you have enough nitrogen rich sources like food scraps, manure or untreated grass clippings.
Yes, the terracotta composter units can get damaged if pushed over by dogs, monkeys or a careless gesture. If it's only a crack - repair it with M-seal. Otherwise you can replace only a single unit - it’s easy with our modular composters. Call us on 9916426661 and we can help. Terracotta needs care but it is the best material for composting and it supports craftspeople and livelihoods!
Well, the smell of decomposition smells attracts all creatures - that is Natures' way of recycling.
Don't worry though, because the Daily Dump composters don't allow rodents to enter; unlike compost pits that are open.
Rats can sometimes dig around the base of the composter and topple it over. In that case do place the composter on a cemented or stone surface.
You can also opt for a Metal Lid for your home compost bin. It offers added protection from rodents.
If you generate more compost than you need, check out our 'Fun ways to use compost' for some wacky ideas.
Remember - even just throwing it out near trees is good for the soil!
When do we buy back compost?
If you accept the rates that Daily Dump quotes after examining your compost (maximum = Rs 5 per kg)
If you made the compost in a Daily Dump product (and have photographic proof!)
If you have more than 10 kgs of compost and are willing to drop it off at our headquarters in Bengaluru and pick up the money.
If you have over 100 kgs and are willing to pay us for the transportation to have it picked up from your premises.
The ideal picture of done compost is a bowl of dark powder that looks like fine tea-dust. Well, if your done compost doesn't look like that, just sieve it with our Bamboo or Plastic Sieve.
Some gardeners put compost with large pieces directly into plant beds.
Decide what works best for you. Fine or coarse, make sure your compost has matured well, before you use it.
Terracotta allows transpiration, so as you use your composter the evaporation deposits salts on the outside.
Take tamarind paste and scrub the external surface with the paste, water and coconut fibre or scrub. Then wipe clean. Your terracotta compost bin will look as good as new! You could polish with a little bit of coconut oil.
That's easily solved - You can order it online right here. Till it is delivered you can use crushed dried leaves and mix them well with your kitchen waste everyday.
We also have a wonderful cost-effective option for you - the CocoBrick. If you use CocoBrick you will need to add Compost Microbes to your pile everyday.
Some customers like experimenting with different sources of carbon like dried leaves or sawdust. Please note you have to add enough volume of this material and STIR OFTEN. You will have to also add enough accelerators. Also do note that using only half-done compost instead of Remix Powder will not work. As it does not have water absorption capacity your compost bin will become wet and smelly.
If you want to try the different alternatives, please do, but remember that Remix powder is an 'all in one' mix that makes composting easy and convenient when you have time constraints.
You see white fungus like growth in your compost bin?
Great! It is one of the first signs that you are doing everything right and decomposition is optimum. Keep going and you will soon have some excellent compost!
And here's a fun fact you should know - These fine white filaments that resemble spider webs are beneficial organisms that look like fungi but are actually bacteria. Actinomycetes are naturally occurring bacteria found in soil. They are responsible for the 'earthy smell' of a happy compost pile :)
The Black Soldier Fly Maggot
Most people freak out when they see the first maggots in their compost pile. They are harmless and good for composting. So what can you do, you ask? Well, make friends, manage them & learn the fun facts about these lovable grubs!
What’s so amazing about maggots?
1. Manages all kinds of waste
Black Soldier fly larvae are scavengers and thrive on many kinds of decaying organic matter, including carrion, manure and plant refuse. They are able to convert all this into compost easily.
2. Useful as Feed
Black soldier fly larvae are one of the most efficient protein converters in insects, containing up to 42% of protein & a lot of calcium and amino acids. The larvae can be fed right back to the animals or birds that generated the waste or used as feed for fish or livestock - closing the loop of waste to food.
3. Improves quality of compost
The larvae have the potential of improving organic waste into a rich fertilizer since they are a good source of oil and protein. Their nitrogen rich casts add their nutrition to the done compost.
4. Faster than worms
On average a household will produce around 1kg of food waste per day. This food waste can be composted at home using black soldier fly larvae much much faster than worms can do it. The larvae colony breaks down kitchen waste, churns it and creates heat, increasing compost evaporation. Significant amounts are also converted to carbon dioxide respired by the grubs and symbiotic/mutualistic microorganisms.
5. Controls harmful fly populations
Actively feeding BSF grubs secrete a natural fly repellent called a synomone (an interspecies, chemical communication that alerts and warns other kinds of flies to stay away). This actually helps reduce housefly numbers by at least 95% by denying the flies access to food.
Lifecycle of a Black Soldier Fly Maggot
Egg: BSF eggs take approximately 4 days to hatch and look like fluffy white cotton patches. These are laid by adult flies near decomposing organic matter. Each egg is about 1 mm long, oval -elongated in shape and pale yellow or cream colored when newly laid. Each egg mass can contain upto 500 eggs!
Maggot /Grub /Larvae: The creepy looking maggot (grub) begins very small and white in colour. As it grows it becomes brown with distinct segments on the body. The larva is plump, slightly flattened, with a tiny, yellowish to black head. The skin is tough and leathery. After larvae have developed through six instars (period of growth), they enter a stage called 'prepupae' where they stop eating. They empty their gut (called self cleansing) & their mouthparts change to an appendage that aids climbing. This is when they crawl out seeking a dry, sheltered area to pupate.
Pupae: The pupa develops inside the puparium (the larval skin) and the is about one-third the length of the puparium. It’s body undergoes a transformation from pupa to adult fly and it does not feed during this stage. It takes approximately 10 days for the adult fly to emerge.
Adult Fly: The adult fly, which measures about 16 mm, has a lifespan of 5 to 8 days. It has no functioning mouthparts and spends its time searching for mates and reproducing. Soldier fly adults do not go into houses or eating places. They do not bite or sting and they are not associated in any way with the transmission of disease as they have no hair on their legs.