The effect of vermicompost on the growth and quality of cress (Lepidium sativum)
Vermicompost is the excreta of earthworm, which are capable of improving soil health and nutrient status. Vermiculture is a process by which all types of biodegradable wastes such as farm wastes, kitchen wastes, market wastes, bio-wastes of agro based industries, livestock wastes etc. are converted while passing through the worm-gut to nutrient rich vermicompost. The aim was to find suitable substrate to grow cress. 1. 30% vermicompost, peat, sand and dolomite stone. 2. 25% vermicompost, peat, gravel, perlite. 3. 25% vermicompost, peat, gravel, light gravel. 4. Growth substrate bought from a shop in Estonia (seller didn't allow to usage the name of the brand). 5. 20% vermicompost and organic matter rich claysoil. Results: Most elongated cress plants were in treatment 4, and the shortest ones in treatment 5. At the same time the longest roots were measured from plants in treatment 2, but shortest in treatment 5. The thickest stem was measured by treatment 1 and the thinnest stem was by treatment 5. The chemical analyses are showing that the smallest content of nitrogen was by treatment 3 and the highest by treatment 4. The smallest content of phosphorus was by treatment 5 and the highest by treatment 4. The smallest content of potassium was by treatment 4 and the highest by treatment 5. The smallest content of calcium was by treatment 4 and the highest by treatment 3. The smallest content of magnesium was by treatment 4 and the highest by treatment 5. Conclusion: out of the results of this experiment we could conclude that the best substrate to grow cress is substrate number 3: 25% vermicompost, peat, gravel, light gravel.