A chemical comparison of vermicompost vs. black soldier fly larvae compost, produced from fruit, vegetable, and coffee waste, and the effects they have on Capsicum annuum ‘Early Jalapeno’ seedling growth.
Vermicompost and black soldier fly larvae compost will be generated over a 5 month period using identical food sources and raised under comparable conditions. At the end of 5 months, compost samples will be sent for lab analysis of N, P, K, pH, Cu, Zn, Mn and C/N ratio levels.
After the analysis has been completed treatments will be made, comparing the produced compost on the first 6 weeks growth of “Early Jalapeno” pepper seedlings. Six treatments total will be assembled. The first three treatments will include a control medium of coco coir, a vermicompost/coco coir medium mix, and a black soldier fly larvae compost/coco coir medium mix. The last three treatments will replicate the first three, but will undergo microbial sterilization.
After 6 weeks of identical controlled growing conditions, seedlings from each treatment will be measured for stem length, leaf surface area, vegetative mass, root mass, chlorophyll content, leaf tissue chemical composition, and root tissue chemical composition. By comparing the composts’ chemical breakdown and seedling application data, we hope to identify whether larvae compost provides a comparable organic option to worm vermicompost and how much of our results can be correlated to compost chemical composition vs. microbial activity.