One inadvertent result of my manure bioassay was noticing that germination was quite poor in the control medium. I usually start my seeds in a 50/50 mix of purchased potting mix and vermicompost. This mix is what I compared the manure to. Lo and behold, the seeds germinated better in the manure. Hmmmm. 🤔
After observing the difference in germination between the garden manure and my standard mix, I thought I had better test some different combinations. I may need a different seed starter!
My control medium is 100% peat moss. I chose it because it is sterile, has no nutritional benefits, and is considered soiless (plus I had some!) The testing media are 100% potting mix, 100% vermicompost, 50/50 peat and vermicompost, and 50/50 potting soil and vermicompost (my usual mix).
Mom gave me a multi seedling container while she was cleaning out. Little did she (or I) know it is ideal for this test! I chose to try lettuce and peas for germination since they both had similar germinating times and temperature (plus I had some!)
Each mix got 6 cells of the tray * 5 mixes = 30 cells total. For each mix 3 cells were planted with lettuce (2 seeds) and 3 cells were planted with snap peas (1 seed). All lettuce was covered with vermiculite. All peas were planted 1 inch deep. They were watered in, the cover attached, and then popped under the grow lights (mainly for warmth).
I will provide an update after a week. I’m curious to know with what seedling mix you’ve found most success.