They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Well, I’m certainly not going to claim I have “invented” anything here – lol – but a major necessity has required me to do things a bit differently on the tomato-growing front this season. If you have followed the blog for anything length of time you’ll likely know that I LOVE growing tomatoes every year (so much so that I’ll be starting up a new site dedicated to the topic! Stay tuned) – but this year I have gone a little overboard, even for me!
I have way more plants than I have good spots to grow them, so I’ve had to get a little creative. First and foremost, I’ve decided to basically turn my longest vermicomposting windrow into a form of lasagna garden.
This certainly won’t be the first time I’ve grown tomatoes next to a composting bed. It all started with the “vermicomposting trench“, 6 years ago….
The trench has since become the “windrow” I am referring to today, and every season I have grown tomatoes next to it. Here is an image from last summer.
Perhaps my most consistently successful tomato row has been the one that sits in front of a wall retaining an even larger worm composting bed.
BUT this is likely the first time I have put tomatoes all the way around one of my vermicomposting beds (and spaced them this closely together). In light of this, I will be putting even more effort into making sure the bed is as optimized as possible. Since there is only so much food waste I have available, I plan to add various other materials for the worms to process – such as chick starter feed, alfalfa mash, and aged manure.
Moisture is something else I will need to pay close attention to, and will almost certainly need to supplement on a regular basis. Even during summers with regular rain fall, my garden plants have managed to suck the worm beds pretty dry. If I have any hope of achieving the “optimized” worm composting environment I am after, I will need to maintain a moist worm habitat zone.
Anyway – it should definitely be interesting!
Stay tuned for more updates – both on the tomato windrow front and re: various other vermi-gardening projects I’ll have on the go this season (eg. should have a vermi-fertilization system update for you this week as well).