May III: optimising carrot germination using vermicompost….

Having started a wormery three years ago, I now have some 3 year old vermicompost to use.

Last year I put a spoonful of 2 year old material into my tomato pots – they seemed to like it.

This year, I am trying to grow carrots for show in polypots, so I decided to see if vermicompost aided germination or not.

I filled two polypots with standard garden centre MPC, watered it to saturation, then I spread a very thin layer of vermicompost on top. I placed 3 Sweet Candle seeds in each of 12 locations (8 around the outside in a ring and four equally spaced inside). After a thin covering with vermicompost and a quick water, the two bags were left in my lean-to propagation module on the bottom shelf.

With seedlings emerging after 14-17 days, the bags came out to live in the open and I could score the outcome.

Of 72 seeds sown, >60 germinated into healthy plants, a rate of over 85%.

I have often read about the great germination qualities of vermicompost.

Now I have seen it in action…..

Author: Rhys

Rhys trained as a research biologist, working for a decade in the cancer research charity sector, before completing an MBA and working in management consultancy, technology transfer and early technology investment spaces, mostly working with UK academics to turn their scientific discoveries into value for society. AS a younger man, he was fascinated with mountains, both climbing them and ski-ing down them. Whilst living in Scotland, he completed a round of (then) all 277 Munros, the independent mountains over 3000ft originally complied as a list by Munro. He also spent his holidays representing the Ski Club of GB, as a Representative and Party Leader between 1990 and 1997. During that time, he found to his bemusement that he was able to predict, without understanding fully why, to a remarkable degree of accuracy, when good snow conditions would occur in the Alps, gaining an unworthy reputation for predictive genius in 1990 when predicting the evolution of the 1989/90 winter in Wengen, Switzerland for his CEO boss. He used this skill for the next seven years to ensure that he enjoyed powder snow pretty much every time he went ski-ing. An MD student he was training in Oxford also impressed his wife by taking Rhys' advice about when to take her to Italy in the mid 1990s! In recent years, Rhys has turned his mind toward how to grow prize tomatoes, winning several prizes in local and London shows and has, in the past 3 years, moved toward taking over a 50 square metre urban vegetable patch, which he has turned into a no-dig area since autumn 2014.

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