In the picture there is a plastic container that was once filled with whey. Originally I thought I would use it to provide thermal exchange in raised beds during the winter.
I was asked an interesting question about Square Foot Gardening a few days ago. The question was relative to vermicomposting or worm farming. The person asked me where the worms go during the winter. Worms typically go deep into the soil below the frost levels to survive the winter. However, red wiggler worms tend to live within six inches of the top of the compost pile. Last summer I saw some red wigglers in the garden after the winter season, I don’t know where they came from. Maybe there is more to learn about red wigglers.
I bring the red wigglers into the cellar for the winter. Once the temperature outside is above 45 degrees, I take the bin outside.
Square Foot Gardens have a weed block barrier so that weeds don’t grow inside the box from underneath the Mel’s mix. To my knowledge, weed block doesn’t allow the worms to populate the SFG. I have looked through all Mel Bartholomew’s literature and I haven’t found information about using worms in the SFGs. It wouldn’t surprise me if I missed something however.
What I will do this year is to try a new procedure just for experimentation. My plan is to take that large plastic jar, drill holes in the bottom and sides, and place it in one of the one foot squares. I will fill the container the same way that I do a worm bin. Since I will only put in 12 red wigglers, it may be an opportunity to monitor the population as well.
I did something similar with six inch pipe last season in some planters. I found that the pipe was a little narrow for me to pour the contents from our container that we use to collect food scraps in the kitchen. Another really good container to use would be the type that kitty litter comes in. I am sure you may have other ideas as well.
Your SFG will only be as good as the compost that you use. I would love to hear your suggestions. We can all do this: 1 Square Foot at a Time.