Vermi Lasagna Gardening-08-11-10

“Compost Ecosystem” bed with “three sisters planting” (corn, squash and beans)

I recently received a quick email update from our Lasagna Gardening correspondent (haha), Paul Letby, and as per usual I asked if he minded me sharing it here on the blog (since I know a lot of people are interested in this approach).

It certainly looks as though things have been coming along nicely!

Hey Bentley! I’m just writing a quick note of what’s gone on lately. It’s super hot outside, and I don’t want to heat up the house with the computer.

Checked the garden I seeded with redworms this spring. The tomatoes have fallen over with the weight of the fruit! So there were some bare patches I could access and check on the population. There’s alot more than I added that’s for sure! The first handful of material brought up four or five worms! It’s kind of a where’s Waldo shot though. Can you spot them? They seemed to congregate where I had left them kitchen scraps, and the last time I had access to put that stuff out there was nearly a month ago. I’ll give em a fresh batch… when I can walk outside without cooking in my own juices! I also found the biggest redworm I’ve ever seen, certainly bigger than anything my indoor system produced.

Sorry about the quality of the pics, all I have is my camera-phone.

We’ll chat later, the computer already is producing heat. Ack!


Paul sent me a short follow-up with some additional pictures as well. He mentions a topic I think Larry D has been looking into, so I’ll be interested to get his thoughts on that (Larry – are you out there? haha)

I am adding a few pics from the feeding this morning. Vermi Borscht! There’s some beets in the mix to make it all purple. Do you think this will enhance their colour? My that’s really is vivid. The camera is sensitive to this colour, it wasn’t THAT crazy purple/red!

It was forecast to be hot again today, so I got up early and harvested from the garden, then fed the worms. Sure enough, I get home and it’s 33C and 41C with the humidex. Ack! Corn loves it though.

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    • Bentley
    • August 11, 2010

    Just a couple of things to add here. The red arrows in the yellow-glove picture are my attempts to “find (wiggly) Waldos” – haha – not sure if I succeeded.
    Paul, I also wanted to let you know how impressed I am with those tomatoes of yours – what variety is that? I can’t believe how many fruit you have! Mine have lots of fruit as well but there is much more vegetative growth than what I’m seeing in your pics (which seems to slow down fruit ripening and makes it a pain when you are trying to find the ripe ones).

  1. Paul
    That is amazing! I am most impressed with your high yield of produce in a small space.

    • Paul from Winnipeg
    • August 12, 2010

    Bentley – I think you found all that showed up in the photo. I didn’t find alot of mature worms, most were juveniles. I think that means the population is exploding!

    The variety of tomatoes is called ‘Astro’. It’s a dwarf bush type tomatoe. The tag said non-staking variety, but I learned that’s not true. 🙂 I’m sure I would have had a better harvest if the plants didn’t fall over like they did.

    I’ll be looking for these aluminum spiral stakes my neighbor has. Very strong and disappear into the foliage very well.

    Mark – Thanks! I think the worms helped alot. They’re in the garden 24/7, I only visit occasionally.

    • LARRY D.
    • August 12, 2010

    I added my worms to my color change experiment today! Someone told me they don’t like beets much.So rather than take a chance,i added light corn syrup.That should do the trick! I added 12 worms to each bottle,including the ones that i almost am positive have to be andreii! I know you have to use analysis.But my worms are like my kids.I think every one that owns Efs has andreii.But it doesn’t really matter any way!
    I think the beets will do something.As well as turmeric.But you may not be able to tell.Kinda like going to a tanning booth.But the main goal is to see if all the worms come out the same color! That has my interest! Could you separate andreii and fetida this way? You got me!
    Also i added all mature worms.Hope to count cocoons.But it may be a lot! Guess i’ll get to test my screening method for cocoons! Time will tell!
    How can i make an enchilada garden? Sure sounds good!

    • norah
    • August 21, 2010

    Just my 2cents worth:
    I me a lady in California who had the back wall of her house covered with tomato plants. They were a stand about 7-8f th x 10ft w x 2ft d. Covered in tomatoes, she said she never touches them!
    So much for all the care and attention! Maybe it’s the climate, it’s harder here in Colorado!

    • Bentley
    • August 22, 2010

    Norah – that would be amazing to see! I think next year I am going to see what I can do about making myself some sort of tomato tree! Just seeing what some of mine have done this year (with pretty terrible support), I know there is room for improvement.
    While she may not do much with those tomato plants (pruning etc?), presumably she MUST at least tie them up to the support? I’m not aware of any varieties that grow like pole beans.
    As for California – it certainly DOES tend to have a pretty magical climate for growing stuff. I’m jealous!

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