Six on Saturday – Veg and Vermiculture

The humidity in finally diminishing and I had my first celebratory glass of Chardonnay in the garden yesterday afternoon. Celebrating the solarization, addition of a vermiculture bed and rabbit fence installation in the vegetable garden.

We have bad nematodes in South Florida – I have root knot nematodes in the vegetable garden. These are microscopic worms that feed on the roots of tomatoes and other vegetables eventually killing the plants. They are common in sandy soils and I was interested to learn recently adding compost and worms to the soil deters the nematodes. Solarization also helps. I solarized the bed during August and September, covering the bed with clear plastic held down with all kinds of junk.

This week I took the plastic off and figured out how to add a worm bed – digging a trench in the middle of the bed, then adding chopped paper, raiding my refrigerator for rotting vegetables (there are always a few) and sending my husband to the bait store for red wigglers.

The red wigglers come in containers and are kept refrigerated. I let them warm up and then put them in the garden to devour the yummy rotting vegetables. They dug right in.

The red wigglers enjoying old Romaine lettuce.

The next thing to do is add seeds and plants and water in with food grade diatomaceous (4 tablespoons to the gallon). The DE also deters nematodes. There is some conflicting info on how it affects the good worms so time will tell. The rabbit fence is made of reeds and is 24″ high. The rabbits ate what the nematodes didn’t get last year.

Cheers to the veg and red wigglers!

Happy Gardening.

To see more Six on Saturday posts, visit Jon at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

15 comments on “Six on Saturday – Veg and Vermiculture

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Fascinating solution to nematodes. I also wonder about diatomaceous earth and the red worms… maybe avoid putting it on their strip of bedding??

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Up here a lot of worms is a sign of healthy soil, but they tend to disappear (ie go deep) during the dry summer. Will you need to water or continue to feed them?

    Liked by 1 person

    • What is in my garden is really beach sand. Rarely I see an earthworm. This is new to me and I was surprised worm castings repel anything. I have no idea what to do next! I have never seen red wigglers anywhere and would think they are not likely to hang around unless I feed them…though there is always some old lettuce or something around and I will keep throwing it in there.

      Like

  3. It is nice when the weather cools enough to enjoy a drink outside…I know the feeling. There was a speaker at a gardening class I took and he said he got nematodes. His solution was to sell his house and move.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. cavershamjj says:

    wow that’s a lot of faff to get some worms, there must be thousands in my garden. different conditions i guess. good luck with your nematodes. here nematodes are mostly associated with being bio-weapons against vine weevils or slugs and the like. i expect we have bad nematodes too, just less marketing for those bad boys.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Karen says:

    Good luck with the vegetable garden and I hope you great a bountiful crop of tomatoes. It will be interesting to see if the worms stay around to help in your garden.

    Like

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