Here is a question from Debra:
I am relatively new to the vericomposting craft. I just love the
ideal of making use of all that we are blessed with. My Grandmother
used to tell me “waste not…want not”.
Anyway, I have a vericompost bin set up (approximately 5 months now).
I have been harvesting the liquid; keeping it in gallon jugs until
Spring. I live in the Pacific Northwest and we have some pretty
extreme temps during the winter. I’ve noticed a very strong smell
from the liquid with a thin film on top. I am assuming that this
indicates anarobic (the bad bacteria) growth. Can I use this liquid
with the bad smell; should I try to airate it with air stones before
use? I don’t want to harm any of my precious plants come spring time.
But I also do not want to discard something that I could make usable.
Thank you for your website and your words of wisdom. We, in the
field, appreciate all you do!
Interesting question. In all honesty, I definitely wouldn’t put worm bin leachate in bottles and just let it sit for months – the potential for it becoming a putrid mess is pretty high!
I hate to recommend getting rid of ANY potentially useful resource though (remember – even ‘wastes’ are just misplaced resources), so I certainly wouldn’t tell you to just chuck it.
Bare minimum, you really should dilute it and start aerating it well before trying to use it. Use your nose as a quality tester – as long as it has any bad odor you definitely don’t want to use it. Even once it is fairly odorless, I’d still recommend using it with caution – maybe pour some in an area of your garden you aren’t all that concerned about. Or simply pour it on some weeds – who knows, maybe you’ve invented the ultimate weed killer and don’t even know it! (just for fun, maybe you could try out the pure, unaerated stuff and see what happens)
Once it looks as though it’s not going to harm your plants, you can probably get a little more bold with your use of it.
Hope this helps!