Sunday, September 28, 2008

An Experiment: Worm Composting in Pots

These black nursery pots are serving two purposes: 1) they raise the lettuce planters off the ground making them easier to work, and 2) they are worm composting bins!

This is my newest experiment. I got this idea from another experiment when I tried growing potatoes in big pots. Unfortunately, I left the potatoes in too long and by the time I turned over and emptied the pot, the potatoes were gone, but I was left with some dark soil filled with worms. At first I was disappointed that my potato experiment failed, but then I realized as I dumped the soil and the worms into a planter box, that hey, there is a silver lining here.

So, I decided to expand on my idea and filled some of these big pots with mulch and garden scraps. Instead of putting the debris into my compost pile, I put some of the damaged cukes, bruised berries and other waste into the pots with the mulch. Then I topped the pots with planters of lettuce. When I water the lettuce, the water drains into the pot, the worms come up from the ground and have a party in the pot. I'll just keep adding vegetable waste to the mulch in the pots to make sure the party continues, and hopefully in a few months, I'll have not only nice big buckets of worm castings, but a ton of worms to go along with them.

The other benefit of this is that the lettuce is easier to harvest since it's off the ground and it's easier to keep them away from some of the night crawling insects.

I'll let you know later how this experiment turns out...

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