Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I get worms

Living with the world's most ridiculous balcony (26 foot by 9 inches) makes gardening a challenge. Last year I found the answer to my composting needs at least: vermiculture or "worm composting". It nicely combines composting with the joys of pet ownership.

I bought a nice, dual tray wooden bin from Southwark council. It was made from reclaimed wood, by a project to provide training to homeless people. It also eats tofu and reads the Guardian.

Sadly my worms didn't make it through the sub-zero temperatures we had over winter so I'm having to restock. I've just bought myself a couple of hands-full of Dendrobaena Venita to get started again.

Last year they ate their way through all of our vegetable scraps, several torn up newspapers, umpteen crushed egg shells and the contents of the hooverbag, leaving behind a box full of fantastically rich compost. There is no smell, and the worms are photophobes so as long as the lid is closed at night they don't escape.

I'll be using the castings to propagate another batch of the pleasingly prolific "Tumbling Tom" that I grew last year. Whilst the dwarf squash and courgettes were lovely they have too much desire to spread themselves about so I'll be sticking mainly to salad greens, herbs and tomatoes. I may try some pea canes again too. And of course this year we have an olive and a lemon to take care of too.

Perhaps Green Butterfingers would swap some worm castings now for an aubergine later this summer?

Update: I just got email: my worms are now in a parcel winging their way via recorded delivery. Let's hope there's no repeat of last year when the box broke in transit and the parcel sat at the reception desk all day. Thank goodness for the timidity of worms.

No comments:

Post a Comment