Tuesday 15 November 2011

Worming the Compost and Planning for Next Year's Rotation.

It's time to seed the allotment dalek compost bin with worms from my home compost heap.

Here's what they look like close up: 

Although I have removed any horseradish or mares' tail along the way there are a lot of grass roots and such like in the allotment compost heap. I'm hopinge the little slithery tikes will help break them down over the winter.
Meantime here's the state of play from a rotational point of view. I now operate a five year rotation of Potatoes/Beans/Brassicas/Alliums/Other Roots.

Next year's bean patch - currently leeks for the winter: 

Next year's Alliums patch

And in between them next years Brassica patch. (Currently lettuce rocket radishes watercress and lambs lettuce - and in need of a weed)

Next year's potato patch.   There are still parsnips and spinach beet growing here alongside the perenial globe artechoke. beyond that all the carrots have gone.

Last of all, this year's brassica patch is to be next year's  Other Roots  (other than potatoes)

I will be treating each of these areas differently over the winter in readiness for their new role next year.


  1. that's a nice healthy bundle of wrigglers you've got there. I have a tardis at the allotment too but although I keep putting stuff into it I never remember to take anything from the bottom of it!

    Your rotation system is very organised. In fact you seem so well organised... would you like to come and do mine as well {wink}.

  2. Our inherited geriatric globe artichokes died over winter. They maybe were fed up of us not harvesting them - we left them to flower for the bees that adored them.

  3. That soil looks so fertile,Looking forward to learning your secrets.

  4. So how do you treat each individual area in readiness for next year Mal?? I tend to dig the lot and let nature takes it's course...do you think that extra time and attention makes a difference??

  5. Oh and I forgot to ask...are they general garden worms??? I think my daleks at the plot would benefit from some worm adage....

  6. Thanks for all your comments Tany. To answer your Qs

    So how do you treat each individual area in readiness for next year Mal??

    I concentrate my manure adding activities in the area that is growing leafy veg next year. As this is expensive and time consuming this ensures that at least this area gets enough. I only add lime to the brassica area. They also like firm soil so either don't dig, or tread the soil down afterwards. Other roots doesn't get manure as it would make my carrots and parsnips fork. I do add manure or compost or comfrey leaves when planting the potato area, but that is next spring. Where I'm going to plant runner beans I dig a trough and fill it up with whatever is at the top of the compost bin. This gets covered over and the beans planted on top. Everywhere gets some chicken manure pellets in the spring - except the "other roots".
    I am sure the different treatment of each area makes a big difference to the results.

    The compost worms are 'brandling' worms and different from normal earth worms. You can often find them under heaps of manure. Otherwise buy them from a angling suppliers(they are used as bait). At least one firm sells them on the net/by post for gardeners.