Photo of my tomato bed vermicomposting trench from last summer
Here is a well-timed question from a reader:
Hi, I found this site via GW vermicomposting forum, as I was trying to gather info on the trench idea. (same reason as you stated, I have so much OM that bins would not be enough and I dont have storage to freeze it all).
But here’s my question, if I set up the trench, will local worms come? Meaning that I may not actually buy red wigglers to put there. Is this a realistic option? I know I have pretty good soil around the property with some pretty big ole fat worms (once I was pulling up a big weed and in the soil was a worm so big I thought it was a baby snake!!) so I know they are there.
Can I make this trench idea work with out adding worms initially?
Thanks for writing in! I’ve been busy working on my new and improved trenches for this year’s growing season, and am hoping to start writing about them soon.
Based on your situation (with loads of organic matter), I’d say you are definitely in a great position to take advantage of the vermicomposting trench idea. That being said, the ‘vermicomposting’ component is actually totally optional. You can indeed simply set up these trenches for regular composting without worms.
Soil worms will certainly be attracted into the trenches, but it won’t be like a normal vermi-trench, since the densities of worms will be much lower and they will still reside in the soil outside of the trench for the most part.
The results with a normal composting trench might not be as impressive as with a full-fledged worm composting trench since the process of turning the wastes into compost will be a fair bit slower, but nevertheless, your plants should still really benefit from this.
Hope this helps, and thanks again.