Vermicompost is touted as a great soil additive. I’ve read some people start their seeds in 100% vermicompost. Last year I tried to start seeds in 100% vermicompost and had little success. The vermicompost either held too much water and rotted my pea seeds, or dried to a hard block so the seeds couldn’t emerge. Homemade vermicompost can be highly variable so if I tried this another time, perhaps it would have worked wonderfully. Other research has stated use only 10 – 20% vermicompost. More than that doesn’t increase its benefits. This is a great summary of the Cornell University research and vermicompost video.
This year I’m compromising. My seed starting mix is 50% vermicompost and 50% store bought potting soil. The main reason I want to use more vermicompost than 10% is because I have it! I’d rather not buy potting mix if I can use what I have.
Vermicompost adds beneficial microbes to store bought products that have been sterilized. The potting soil adds lightness and porosity to the vermicompost. The vermicompost prevents damping off and will provide nutrition for the seedlings after germination. It seems to be a good combination.
I would love to hear how others are using vermicompost in their seed starting endeavours.