timing is important

To enjoy the real benefits of vermicompost in your garden, it’s important to understand how it works and how best to use it. The release of nutrients from compost is a gradual process. The balance between nutrient absorption and availability in the rhizosphere is strongly influenced by plants and other organisms which form part of that unique ecosystem. 

Compost encourages a wide diversity of macro and microorganisms in the rhizosphere that are antagonistic to certain pests and pathogens. When using vermicompost as a fertilizer, it is important to time your applications to allow proper flower and fruit set as well as maturity. 

Most tomato varieties will begin flowering within 40-50 days after transplanting and it is important to feed each plant at least 2-4 tbsp vermicompost fortnightly until the first sign of flower buds. At the first sign of flower buds, you could increase your rate of application up to 4-6 tbsp at the same interval.

It’s always important to remember that the quality of your compost is a reflection of what you put into it. There are other nutrient sources such as fish fertilizer, seaweed, and kelp extract which can help supplement your growing needs.

Flower bud initiation on cherry tomato
Root zone exposing feeder roots of tomato plant

Vermicompost can be applied as a top dress or incorporate into growing media encourage feeder roots.

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