Kirsten
Postedby on in Milkwood
  • Font size:LargerSmaller
  • Hits: 2111
  • 0 Comments

Vertigation: passive injection worm juice irrigation for the kitchen garden

alt

Anyone with compost worms knows how valuable the worm juice from their wormfarm can be as part of veggie growing. The trick is remembering to add it, and having a good method of applying it.

Last year Nick devised a way to passively add worm juice into our kitchen garden irrigation supply, via a rather clever little DIY setup.

alt

Our kitchen wormfarm setup, located in a bathtub. The worm juice drips out the plughole and into the container below, then self-injects into the irrigation line for the nearby kitchen garden…

alt

Adam making the surround for the bathtub out of recycled harwood

alt

Worm farm complete and in commission! The stripey shade cloth provides a first-pass filter for the worm juice to escape from through the plughole

alt

Worm Farm rules (we spell it out in the interests of keeping this system effective and not stinky)

alt

We fill one side up at a time, then simply flip the lid 180 degrees so that the other side becomes the deposit zone

alt

A layer of hessian keeps the worms warm and moist

alt

Yay compost worms! Doing their thing…

alt

This is the main tapline for the kitchen garden, which gets turned on by timer for about 30 minutes a day during growing season. The top black horizontal pipe in this pic provides a light spray to the wormfarm, for when it’s getting a bit dry. It can be turned off independently as needed

alt

The same black line giving the wormfarm a light spray of water

alt

The bottom light-coloured line in this pic carries worm juice from the red bucket, where it collects after dripping out of the wormfarm, and into the irrigation system via venturi action. The little piece at the end of the clear tube in the photo is the key…. it’s called a fertigation injector, venturi injector or pressure differential injector.

alt

The sucking end of the worm juice vertigation line, that sits in the red bucket with a filter on it to prevent gunk getting in the irrigation lines, and sucks up worm juice via a siphon effect as needed

alt

So then, when the tap is turned on, the worm juice sucks out of the bucket via a siphon effect and joins the main vertical irrigation line, which heads off to the kitchen garden…

alt

Setting up irrigation for the kitchen garden using recycled dripline. A frustrating but ultimately successful process.

alt

Dripline getting installed in our contour bed kitchen garden, October 2011

alt

The kitchen garden in February 2012. Yielding plentiful herbs and veggies thanks in part to our vertigation setup! You can just see the wormfarm in this pic next to the white watertank.

So there you have it. A simple way to introduce worm juice into your irrigation watering cycle, while recycling kitchen wastes and cycling nutrients back through our farm. This system has been in place coming up to two years now, with no problems and lots of garden benefits. Pretty cool, eh?

We call it vertigation – a permaculture combo of fertigation (adding fertilizer to the irrigation line) and vermiculture (ie wormfarming).

We’re planning to add another system like this to the market garden in spring, to further increase the fertility down there as well.

>> More about Nutrient Cycling at Milkwood Farm

>> More about Appropriate Technology at Milkwood Farm

Cheers to Stephen Couling for some of the above process photos, and to Floyd Constable for the final shot.

0
Trackback URL for this blog entry.

pcp_button

GrowVegAffiliateAdvert120x60