I have just dug a plastic cylinder into the soil and will add red tiger worms to start a composting system.
The cylinder is a bought one and designed for this purpose. It has a number of holes in the sides to allow worms to exit and enter.
My feeling is that this will also give roots of plants the chance to enter. So, what plants would be good to plant nearby to take advantage of the rich source of nitrogen? I'm thinking maybe watermelon or perhaps grain amaranth?
My first thought was, instead of a food crop, maybe plant something that would produce a lot of biomass, then chop it and use it as mulch around the food crops. It seems, as the biomass plant takes up the nutrients from the worm bin, the nutrients can be distributed to multiple other plants when they are mulched with the biomass. Maybe something like borage, or some vigorous kitchen herbs, which would still provide you with something edible in that spot.
Russell Cook wrote:KC, thanks for the idea. I've read that borage also has lots of benefits as a companion plant so I'll see if I can find some seeds around here.
This is the first year I've grown borage, and have loved it, so far. I picked up a pack of seeds from the Southern Exposure Seed Co. at the Mother Earth News Fair in February, so you might check their website to see if they still have it in stock.
Besides the fact that it's just beautiful in full bloom, I also see lots of pollinators around it. The first set of plants I transplanted have gotten about 3 ft and have been blooming continuously for a month or so. The others I've planted haven't gotten nearly as big before they started blooming, though it's possible they're stunted since I wasn't able to get them transplanted as early as I should have (though they look very healthy). I've chopped the big plants a few times and they've recovered quickly. The leaves remind me of comfrey and I've been treating the plants like I treat the comfrey when cutting back.
I hear they can be a bit enthusiastic about reseeding, which I guess I'll find out when the current bloomers set seed; but I am not too worried about it, since weeds are going to sprout, regardless, and if I have to choose, I'd rather weed out excess borage than I would morning glory or crabgrass.
They also smell really good when you cut & rub the leaves between your fingers!