The Hot Frog Essential Living Composter: Review
The Hot Frog Essential Living composter is the latest model of FCMP Outdoor’s worm farm product range. Our review will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision on whether this is the right composter for your home.
The HOT FROG essential living composter is a worm farm brought to the market by FCMP Outdoor. Building on the success of the original HOT FROG composter, this device offers improved design characteristics at an affordable price. Highly functional and of the highest quality, this piece of kit is sure to last for years. With a modern design and plenty colors to choose from, this composter can be kept indoors without looking out of place!
The Hot Frog composter overview
The HOT FROG composter is made in Canada from the best available materials. It uses recycled polypropylene plastic that is BPA free and UV inhibited. This means that it is fully safe to the touch, non-toxic and can be placed outside in the sun, without the fear of degradation, discoloration or brittling over time. It needs to be noted however, that the tray design doesn’t allow for compatibility with the Classic series composter.
This worm farm offers other advanced features, often found in high end composters. Each tray is designed with a moisture control water retention channel that runs around its outside edge. This stops water from falling straight through the trays and makes sure that the outer edge of the bedding is watered as well. Each tray also contains 52 angled channels to allow for free worm migration between the trays.
Good aeration is absolutely key for producing high quality compost. Each tray is slightly supported from the one below, allowing for excellent air movement across the compost.
Worm leachate collection
The HOT FROG composter also contains a reservoir designed to collect the worm leachate. When mixed, one part leachate with one part water, the solution can make an excellent fertilizer for plants and is fully organic. Be mindful, however, that if the leachate is producing a pungent odor, then it could be a sign that the health of the worm farm isn’t that great. In this instance it would be best to refrain from using the leachate on your plants. Pungent odors can be a sign that the pH level is off. Adding some more carbon (such as shredded newspaper) will help it to return to normal.
For the price, you are definitely getting more bang for your buck from the new HOT FROG composter. It boasts some great design features and looks stylish enough to suit any indoor setting, including coming in a variety of different colors. It is comparable to the Maze worm farm but if you’re after aesthetics, you can’t go past the HOT FROG composter.
Hot Frog composter features
|Well designed working trays||The angled channels make it easy for the worms to migrate between the trays and are a really neat feature of this particular worm composter. They also stack and fit together really well.|
|Fully recycled plastic||Another environmental tick in the box. The plastic is BPA free and is resistant to UV radiation, meaning it’ll last a long time even if it’s stored outside.|
|Dimensions||The assembled worm farm is 15 inches wide x 15 inches deep x 22 inches high|
|Volume||The total volume of the composter is 6 gallons|
- Eco-friendly – The HOT FROG composter is made with safe and durable plastic that is 100% recycled
- Attractive design – This is perhaps one of the more stylish worm farms available on the market, making it suitable for indoor use. Perhaps the best part of this is that it comes in four different colors: green, black, grey and plum.
- Compact – the product is tiny meaning it can fit anywhere inside, or outside your home. Its compact size makes it a perfect choice for small apartments.
- Legs come included – Definitely an advantage over the Maze worm farm which has legs sold separately.
- Price – The new essential living version is around $20 cheaper than the previous version, putting it right up there in terms of competitiveness for cost.
- Too small – Whilst great for apartment living, if you produce a lot of kitchen waste in your household, you may find that the worm farm is just not big enough to process all your scraps. In this case, you may be better suited to a bigger worm bin such as the Worm Factory 360.
- Worms can escape – A few people have found that the lid is not sufficient to prevent worms from escaping the worm bin. This can lead to a messy situation if you happen to keep your worm farm inside your home. There can be a number of reasons why your worms are trying to escape but this shouldn’t be a concern if you ensure your worm bin remains healthy.
How to use the Hot Frog composter
Assembly of the HOT FROG composter is very straight forward. Simply unbox all the contents and attach the legs to the bottom tray. They are secured using screws which can be inserted from the top of the bottom tray. Next you’ll want to attach the drain spout at the bottom of the tray. This is where the worm leachate will drain from as is a simple screw fit onto the attachment. There’s also a little plastic grill that covers the spout recess on the inside of the tray to prevent clogging.
Preparing the worm bedding
You’ll want to add a layer of wet newspaper or cardboard on the bottom of the first working tray before adding the bedding. For the bedding, we recommend using a mix of soil, coconut coir and some shredded paper to ensure that the worms are happy and take to their new home. The coconut coir needs to be soaked for about 20-30 mins and then wrung out so that only a few drops of liquid come out when lightly squeezed. Then all you need to do is add your worms.
Rotating the trays
One of the advantages of this composter is the ease of use. Thanks to the amazing design and the 52 migration channels, worms can easily travel between trays. This means that the trays can be filled starting from the bottom, with worms moving to the upper levels when done in search of more food. This allows for an easy rotation of use of the trays and reduces the time that needs to be spent on digging to extract worms from the compost. Watering the soil is also a breeze. The trays can be removed easily and washed with a hose, in the sink or in a bathtub, ensuring cleanliness and minimizing bad smells. Overall the HOT FROG is a pleasure to use.
Things to remember…
The HOT FROG composter is made with durable materials that last for years, both indoors and outdoors. This reduces the amount of maintenance and repairs needed. Thanks to its size, rotating and cleaning the trays is a simple task. Overall, there really isn’t much to it!
- Frequently remove the contents of the working trays to use on your garden once they are full.
- Use compost conditioner at least once per week (optional, but recommended). The purpose of the conditioner is to balance the acidity in the compost.
- Ensure that the lid is tightly closed. This is to prevent any odors from escaping – although typically worm farms shouldn’t smell – and to make sure the worms stay within the container. Ideally you should cover the worms with a worm blanket, or old newspaper or hessian.
It simply has to be said, the HOT FROG composter from FCMP Outdoor really is a great product. Thanks to the durable yet good looking design, this composter can be an amazing indoor feature, but can also resist weather outside without a problem. While easy to use, this device can really help you and your family do more for our beautiful environment. It can help you reduce household waste, while repurposing it into food for new plant life. All with the help of our worm friends. For the new budget price, we feel we can truly recommend the HOT FROG essential living composter for your home. Click the links below if you think this is the worm farm for you!
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