When I first tried trench composting; that is, digging a trench, filling it with compostables, and covering it up, I didn’t know what to expect.
I didn’t know if I would have trouble with varmints. I did have some minor digging, but that was solved by planting a little deeper. I also didn’t know if anything would grow there–would the composting process rob the soil of nitrogen?
Let’s take a look and see what happened when I planted tomato plants and transplanted some lettuce seedlings and spinach there:
Yowzer! Giant green things!
A leafy explosion.
For contrast, I want to show you the neighboring row where I planted tomato plants the very same day:
What a difference! The spinach is too crowded, but that alone doesn’t account for the size difference. They were planted at the same time as the ones in the first bed.
While it’s not a scientifically controlled experiment, I’m convinced of the value of trench composting. Are you going to try it? I can’t wait to do this all over.
I’ll let you know if I come across any issues. The major one so far is that the trenched spot starts out as a mound and ends up as a valley once the materials decompose. It’s mainly cosmetic since my beds are already slightly raised. I haven’t had any problems with water trying to drown anything in these low spots. It may even act to concentrate rainwater and keep the beds hydrated.