I thought it might not be a bad idea post a quick update on my hanging “Worm Inn Tomato Garden” today. I am happy to report that the tomato plant seems to be doing fairly well, and we even have a ripe fruit already. As was the case with the other hanging tomato garden (which is also doing quite well), there was an initial period of decline – likely due to the stress associated with being flipped upside down after being grown to a decent size in a normal manner. The next time I do this, I will definitely start with small healthy plants and see if that makes a difference.
There seems to be a LOT of worms in the Worm Inn garden, and the level of material inside has been going down a fair bit. I have added one bag of old green tomatoes (diced) from last year, but have otherwise not added any food scraps. The worms seemed to appreciate the gooey rotten tomatoes, even though they started to stink and grew a nice coating of mold (I didn’t really bury them very well) – I decided to spread them around a bit just to be safe.
The other day I topped up the system with a nice thick layer of rotten straw mixed with old goat manure that happened to be sitting in one of my backyard composters. I think this will help to ensure that the worms continue to have a nice habitat zone, even with the tomato roots continuing to encroach on their space. One of the things I’ve noticed about the bucket systems is that the tomato roots basically take over the entire vessel, likely making it next to impossible for a populations of worms to live in there as well. I think the worms are doing better in my big box systems though (will provide an update on those soon) since there is more space for them, and I have created a habitat/food zone for them near the surface in the middle of the beds.
I am definitely interested to see how the Worm Inn tomato plant grows from here. While certainly looking nice and healthy, both hanging garden plants are still quite a lot smaller than most of the other Tomatoberry plants I have growing in various containers and beds.
Will provide another update in a couple of weeks or so!