Has anyone any actual experience of growing veg/flowers from vermi-compost (please)?

Hi,

Thanks for stopping by.

Along with all the 'research' I'm doing as I'm building my wormery (thanks, Instructubles!), I've noticed that as everyone appears to rave about how good it is (enviroment, etc, etc) no-one, but no-one appears to have any direct experience of how well veg and flowers have grown in the compost it has produced!

If you have would you mind telling me how you feel the difference has been, please?

Thanks!

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Gorfram8 years ago
You mean like this (see image below)? This is five varieties of basil, some heirloom marigolds, and two snow pea vines. The bare spots are where I never got around to planting anything - nothing has died except for a few plants dug up & abandoned by squirrels (&%$# squirrels!). The one failure is the crookneck squash vine - that's what's being proteced by the upside down plastic cup. Since I planted it so late that the only plant starts the nursery had were iffy at best, and my watering has been decidedly sporadic, I don't think the soil is to blame. The raised beds are filled with a very low quality compost that was donated to the community gardens, and I dug in seven 3-1/2 gal. buckets of vermicompost before planting. The bed is 4.5' x 5.5' by an estimated 8" average depth: my math says that's about 125 gallons of capacity, so my 25 gallon vermicompost addition makes the soil about 20% vermicompost by volume. (About 12-13 gallons of small rocks and shredded wood were removed while digging in the vermicompost, and the soil level rose about 3/4 of an inch.)
090923 basil bounty.jpg
Gorfram Gorfram8 years ago
Or maybe like this? (see image below) I had the right (upslope) half of this bed last year and dug in somewhere around 7-10 gallons of vermicompost. I don't think the gardener who had the left (downslope) half of the bed used any soil amendments at all. Just one gardener has the whole raised bed to herself this year (our annual bed/half-bed assignment/reassignment process combines the random with the arcane). She has flattered me immensely by noticing that "my" half is doing better than the other half, and asking me all about how I make my compost :).
Vikki's Bed.jpg
kevinhannan (author)  Gorfram8 years ago
Wow, Gorfram - I'm almost speechless - I can't wait for my pot of 'Black Gold'!

You know there's something of a saying about how some people get all the luck, but I think people make their own luck, much by the same process as you as Seandogue - through research/learning and application - and thankfully - sharing that knowledge.

I don;t know why but I have an immense anti-feeling about raised beds. I much prefer to dig three spits down, griddle and plant. Except next year I shall also be including a significant amount of vermi-compost.

I had thought of talking to the allotment owners near me, to trade some of my vermi-leachate for some of their vegetable scraps and perhaps the odd cutting here and there.

Thanks, again, Gorfram, your pics are uber-cool - and they do look as though they are positively thriving!
Thanks, Kevin :) :) :)

It does seem that some people get all the luck, and I envy those people no end. I pessimistically* perceive myself as falling somewhere between "If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all," and "The harder I work, the luckier I get." :)

(*No, I don't see the glass as half full. I see the glass as underutilizing its volumetric capacity by approximately 50%.)
(I also see the glass as posing a mild risk for shattering in the event of sudden mechanical or thermal shock - so please don't leave it sitting right next to the edge of the table like that. :)

When I research/read up on something, make thorough preparations, and throw a good dose of elbow grease into the application, things tend to work out for me. This tends to slow things down, and I don't get nearly as much done as I'd like to (digging in 25 gal of compost and screening out 12 gallons of rocks and sticks is directly related to why my poor squash vine was planted so late), but when I try to do things by half-measures, I seem to get much less than half-results.

There's nothing sacred about raised beds (IM own HO, at least - there are especially enthusiastic raised-bed advocates who might beg to differ). I'm an apartment-dweller, and thus by necessity a container and community gardener. Our community gardens are in raised beds, so I'm a raised-bed gardener. If I had a nice little ground-level patch of native dirt to mess with, I'd be very happy to mess with it. :)

Do talk to your nearby allotment folks. Especially if you start off by admiring their plants & produce, and asking if they might consider divulging to you the secrets of their success, they will probably be very happy to let you take at least some of their veggie scraps of their hands, and may even shower desireable cuttings down upon you.

One of the many things I haven't gotten done yet is an 'Ible on how I make my worm bins - maybe once I've gotten all that basil harvested and processed...

:)
kevinhannan (author)  Gorfram8 years ago
If I had only one badge, Gorfram, I'd give it to you as the sweetest person around. I admire your style, and your brains. (No, it's not a chat-up line - for others who read this).
Aw, shucks, Kevin... (digging toe into carpet)...shucks & double & triple shucks... Thanks :) :) :)

(I'm extra gratified/flattered that you knew that I wouldn't mistake your compliment for a chat-up line.)
kevinhannan (author) 8 years ago
Great Britain, if you please!

There's a free B&B here for you, if you do ;-)
kevinhannan (author) 8 years ago
Pleases and Thanks are as essential as breathing; unfortunately some people are still classed as Troglodytes! Over and Out ;-)
kevinhannan (author) 8 years ago
I cannot thank you enough for your extended relpy, Seandogue. ;-) The relative acidity pleases me as my crops enjoy a more acid environment (5.5 - 6.5 pH), so thanks for that. I wish that you were my neighbour, I'd have a few drinks with you. Thanks again!
kevinhannan (author) 8 years ago
Hey Seandogue!

Many thanks for your very kind - and thorough - reply! I seriously appreciate it!

Yes, my aim is much the same as yours, my back garden is for 'utility' growth (I want to grow cider apple trees, red grape (merlot) vines, and a range of dear-to-buy fruit and veg. The flowers are for the front garden where my neighbours really are far too snobby for their own good, and my wife doesn't like to buck the trend... sheeesh!

Given from what you say, I'll be laying down hosepipe around the floor (buying it second-hand and piercing holes where I need them) to save me the time-wasting bother of watering them. I will have more time to inspect them that way - I believe.

Thanks, again, sunshine!