The title this week is etc. because in lieu of writing about one topic, there will be a few small conversations I would like to start with you and other readers. Since my native language is not spoken here, I find myself thinking deeply about different things, often wishing there were other gardeners and creative types I could discuss these ideas with at length. And in an effort to engage the readers more, I open up the discussion, comments and ideas to you. - James
The last time I had a compost pile of my own was.... well, never. I did have one when I was a student at Longwood, and there have been some along the way in gardens I have worked, but never my one of my own. In my Brooklyn garden it wasn't possible because of the occasional rats that would visit and now that I am settled with a large garden space I would like to stay true to the original idea of having one benefit from. My fear is that I will not be able to really have one here either and it turned my mind to the next best option, vermiculture. Has anyone had any experience with vermiculture, the process of keeping worms in a specialized container to feed your organic waste to (the same material you put on a compost pile), where it is then broken down quickly by the worms. In return turning your garbage waste into worm castings, a rich soil conditioner. This can then be used to add to my containers on a regular basis for healthier plants. My questions and concerns are many. What is your experience in this? What are the best containers to use? Where do you purchase the worms from? Does the container need to be protected or moved somewhere during the winter months? I only see this being something good all around in the long run, but imagine there are some cautionary tales out there too. Please let me know what your experience with worm castings has been..
The second topic has to do with fruit and vegetable gardening, but in containers both large and small. I am in the beginning stages of purchasing plants and due to limited space and funds, it is important for what I purchase to be more than just ornamental. My first purchase was a small fig tree and was wondering if anyone has had experience in growing one in a large size pot. If I had a place in the ground to make my fruit and vegetable garden, I would do that first, but it is not an option right now. Vitis in pots? Does it work or is a long root run for the vine necessary? There was a container grown vine I had seen at Glyndebourne in England some summers ago, (above) but did not know if it was purely ornamental? Artichokes? Edible prunus? So many questions and ideas but wanted to seek out ideas from others too. What veg or fruit that you have grown has worked very well for you in containers or on a terrace in an urban environment. In the process of putting together my kitchen garden on my terrace, I wanted to hear stories of successes and learning experiences.. All comments will be answered... Thank you for taking the time out to lend a hand.. - James