How to use your compost, bok choy experiment
Compost Kauaʻi integrates two different systems to create your compost: hot composting and worms (vermicompost). Since your food scraps are finished by a worm system it is nutrient rich (think Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium or “N-P-K”), highly bioavailable (a form easily used by plants), and a great source of soil organic matter (decomposing & stable plant residues and microorganisms).
It took more than six months for your compost to be made and was reduced to about 9-15% of its original weight.
Plant species, plant stage (seedling, mature, etc.), forms of nutrients in the vermicompost, and what is used to create the vermicompost can vary. So the amount of compost fertilizer you should use for improved plant growth can VARY and DEPENDS. It is hard to say the EXACT amount to use but we have a couple takeaways and suggestions to help you.
Unlike other fertilizers, you cannot burn your plants with vermicompost. HOWEVER, since it is concentrated in nutrients and plant growth hormones, a little goes a long way and too much CAN inhibit plant growth. Use your compost fertilizer (“fertilizer” is the keyword here) like you would any other fertilizer - a little goes a long way. It is recommended to amend the soil every 3-4 months.
Some will recommend, ½ cup per planting hole, 1/10 of a pound per square foot, 1 tablespoon per transplant hole, 3 tablespoons per container, or 50:50 blend (soil:compost).
And we are here to say, it all DEPENDS.
Plant species, plant stage (seedling, mature, etc.), forms of nutrients in the vermicompost, and what is used to create the vermicompost, are all important factors.
So we did a little experiment to test our compost and see just how much (or how LITTLE) is needed to make a difference.
We used bokchoy seeds (three in each pot) with
1 tablespoon of CK compost,
organic powder fertilizer,
1 teaspoon of CK compost,
¼ cup CK compost,
and no compost.
Check out our results. With just as little as 1 teaspoon you can see a difference in the seed germination and seedling growth compared to the control and even the organic fertilizer. After 20 days you can just how big the bokchoy were able to get with compost compared to their control treatment siblings.
Compare our vermicompost to commercial products:
Theirs: N-P-K (0.8 - 0 - 0) and PASTEURIZED!
CK Compost: N-P-K (1.0 - 0.2 - 0.8) + calcium PLUS teeming with microbes and natural plant growth hormones
Here is a chart with suggestions to help you use your CK compost fertilizer most efficiently. One gallon of compost fertilizer will cover 32 square feet or a 4’x8’ garden.
We encourage you to experiment yourself and observe how your soil and plants react to the compost fertilizer. Use a control (plant with no compost) and add compost to other similar plants (in various amounts or all the same).
Experiment: label the treatments, take photos and share. We would love to see them!
Did the smallest amount make your seedlings grow better?
Did a large make them grow better
Did you notice any changes in the soil?
Were there more worms/critters in the soil after you applied compost?