Compost on your… balcony!

Compost on your… balcony!

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Being green in the city center is now possible. Just install a mini size vermicompost on your balcony. Instructions for use with Pierre-Antoine Giraud, expert in "Jardins Animés". Interview by Nadège Monschau

What type of composter to choose when you don't have a garden but a balcony?

A vermicompost bin, ideal for its discretion. It fits easily into a small space, like balcony or terrace. Despite its small size (only 40 centimeters wide by 50 high), this system, made up of three distinct trays, is very effective. And faster than a conventional garden composter. These are the worms coiled inside that will degrade the waste of the house (dog or cat hair, peelings…) to transform them into humus, a fertilizer which plants love.

Is a vermicomposter easy to use?

Yes, because it does not require any particular maintenance: not even need to ventilate or stir! At startup, the 500 worms contained in the receptacle will need to acclimatize. It takes about three months for the system to start up. Then, we can recover, every three weeks or so, humus and liquid ("worm tea"), two excellent fertilizers. But beware: this model only works at full speed when the outside temperature fluctuates between around 10 and 30 ° C. Below 7 ° C, the system is in neutral: the worms overwinter. After a long break in use (after the summer vacation or after winter), they should be given a boost, by buying specific vitamins or offering them a good ration of fresh food. Another tip: create a carpet of humidity and darkness with them, for example, an old mop.

Isn't the vermicomposter likely to give off unpleasant odors or attract gnats?

Not if the environment is properly drained, ventilated and oxygenated. The most common mistake made by users is to only recycle vegetable peelings, which will transform the environment into a kind of smelly mini swamp. On the contrary, care must be taken to properly feed the composter with a third of dry materials (small pieces of paper or cardboard, vacuum cleaner dust, etc.) and two thirds of wet materials (peeling, etc.). Worms also hate acidity (onions, lemons ...): to restore the pH, it is enough, from time to time, to pour them a limed mixture or to give them some egg shells. The other great enemies of the vermicompost bin are bright light and @ auto @ games: 170 ants. Better to place the box in a shaded and sheltered place, and avoid any direct exposure to the sun. You can also isolate the feet of the receptacle in small pools of water to keep ants away. To find out more: //fr.jardins-animes.com/