Is it the Basil or the Worm Compost?

So it’s been a few weeks now since I started my soil test. Basically I want to compare plant growth in backyard soil, store bought soil, and worm compost. My assumption going into it is that the worm compost is really going to make for the best growing soil. I used basil seeds for test.


It took almost two weeks before there was finally some growth in all three pots, and at least a week before there was any growth at all (which as it turned out was in the store bought soil). I really thought the seeds would have emerged much quicker then that.


Finally everything seemed to be in order since there was a least some green in each of the test pots. I thought maybe the backyard soil (mostly clay at my house) was hard to push through and that was why it took so long. But once there was some plants above ground, they could then really take off I figured.
Well it’s been a week or two since the first growth and there really isn’t much to report to be honest. Take a look at the three pots and be prepared to be bored 🙂

where are the plants?

Look closely and you can see a few plants

Right now there are two plants in the store bought soil, one in the worm compost, and none in the backyard soil. There had been some in the backyard soil but it appears to have died and dried up.


At the moment I can only make some guesses why all three of the pots are vastly under performing what I would have expected but I do have a couple of theories.


One, maybe the seeds were just really not that good. I did buy them from Walmart by the way so there is no telling what quality they actually are. Not only did I buy them at Walmart but I bought them at the end of the season. So I guess they could be bad seeds and old seeds. So that could be having an effect on their slow growth.


Two, these pots that I am using for the test don’t have drainage holes in the bottom. They were on sale at the local drug store and came in a pack of three, so they were cheap and I thought perfect because here was three of the same pot. But I know a few times I watered them I did kind of over do it. So maybe the seeds got drowned and just couldn’t grow. Or the ones that did just couldn’t get enough air and dies. Operator error on my part if that is the case. So for now I’m going to let things run their course a bit and see where this goes. If it doesn’t go well them maybe I’ll try drilling some holes in the bottom of these pots and restart it all over again. It could be tricky drilling because they are ceramic, so if that doesn’t work out I’ll buy some new pots with drainage holes.


Finally, it is officially fall here in NYS where I live. I have the plants inside on a window sill. I wonder if they are too cold being so close to the window. I haven’t had to turn the heat on yet for the year, so I feel like it should be warm enough for the to grow though. The other Fall factor is the amount of light. I have them right in the window but they are of course getting less light then if they were outside. Being fall there is less light to be had overall as well. So maybe between it being a bit chilly and there being less light, it’s having a negative effect on them all.


Whatever the reason is, it really seems to be effecting all the pots equally. Sure the store bought soil has two plants and the worm compost has one but that is hardly enough to really be impressive. I mean it’s not as if there is 100’s in one pot and nothing in the other. So for now I think my issues are environmental or having to do with the seeds, and nothing really can be said one way or the other about which type of soil is really best for growing plants.


I’ll stay with it for now and see what happens to the plants that are growing. If not much comes of it, I’ll probably get some draining pots and try it all over again.