Orchard Vermicompost Trial
In spring of 2013, Soil Stewardship participated in planting about 1000 cider apple trees near Hotchkiss, CO. We planted 500 trees with a quart of our vermicompost in the planting hole and 500 trees with a locally available poultry litter-based compost. We have been watching the trees, which were conveniently planted with 2 rows of the same variety side by side. Although there is already ample anecdotal evidence that vermicompost applied to bare root grape vines at planting time increases survival rate, we wondered what effect adding some vermicompost at planting would have with apple trees. The cost of this application to fruit trees was about $0.62/tree. Time will tell if this would be a wise investment. We continue to look at this young orchard as often as we can.