Composting with Worms Around My Tomatoes
April 23, 2020
I wonder if you can help me. Here's what I am planning. I'm planting tomatoes in a large bin set for wicking to maintain constant moisture and drainage in case of rain. I'll add a layer of shredded newspaper and some amount of red wigglers. The top will be covered with wood slats for shade and I will top feed the worms for the season.
Have you ever heard of an idea similar to this? It seems to me that it would be beneficial to the tomatoes.and I'd have a thriving colony of wigglers.
I live in the middle of Albuquerque 87106 zip code.
I so appreciate your knowledge and willingness to share.
Answer by JH: You may receive other responses. Here’s mine. It sounds interesting but I’m unclear as to the ultimate purpose. To perhaps generate worm castings that will benefit the tomatoes? If the bin is filled with finished compost, the worms will need additional feedstock. The worms won’t really be needed if the bin is filled with potting mix. And you may also get better answers from the master gardener hotline at the Extension Office - they are tomato growers par excellence! Best wishes!
Answer by JZ: Here are some thoughts in addition to JH's. I’m thinking that you have a fine idea. Here’s my experience.
I have been caring for red wigglers in the same raised bed for many years in Rio Rancho.As you know red wigglers appreciate moisture and plenty of organic material, which I add regularly. The bed is well mulched on top.
Not clear as to your total growing medium blend in your container? You might use 1/3 potting mix, 1/3 compost and 1/3 native soil - which will provide some grit for worm gizzard. I top feed just as you have described. This has been quite successful for me and my worms.
As long as your container soil is moist & mulched at all times and you continue to add organic material for nutrition, then I think that your worms will work for you.
Agree too that your set up should be shaded in some fashion as this will decrease evaporation in the summer months.
Hope that this is helpful. Let us know if you have questions. Compost on.