the vermiculite content really depends on how you are watering and the rest of your mix.
since you are heavily using topsoil and compost they will already absorb quite a bit of water ( eventually will just be mud )
You don't need the extra water retention that vermiculite gives you. it just another extra thing to buy that isn't doing much for you.
it doesn't hurt really though, unless you are in a super wet area and the mix ends up holding too much water, the chunks should not compact as much as your mud so helps give the soil some body.
vermiculite is more useful in a mix that is too fast draining, like a heavy wood, rocky, or sandy mix.
but even then we can use other things to hold water. so it is not necessarily required.
peat is only hydrophobic when it is bone dry, it will take a long while for the peat to dry out in normalish sized containers ex 20L, 5gal, for smaller containers (like for baby plants) it will dry out faster.
in a very high peat mix (like 80% +) i can see it being useful as a kinda "oh shit" scenario.
but if you are mixing other things (ex compost) in your mix not just peat, its fine they will still hold water even if peat gets dry.
if you have a system to control your water (automatically or manually) and will be watering very often we don't need / want extra water retention.
example: watering thoroughly everyday will not give time for most mixes to dry out.
or extreme solutions like dutch buckets or self watering containers where water is always available we don't want the mix to hold extra moisture if we don't need it..
If you are doing infrequent watering or live in an area where you are relying on rainfall that is somewhat infrequent or very arid. then vermiculite will be great as will it help keep some moisture in your soilmix over the dry days.
so i'll just say that's my reasoning behind not using vermiculite.
others can disagree, you can use it, i won't judge, i just wouldn't use it.
I tasted my first Biquinho pepper, from the seeds I ordered from your store.
What delicious little gems those peppers are! Barely any heat, but really sweet and juicy. The smell gave me flashbacks from some superhot chinenses, but I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted it. As always, great plants from your seeds, thanks!
Nice! it is so hard to describe the biquinho heat to people. it's like a faint memory. not completely heatless like a bell pepper. but it's not hot either.
I have always started with about 4 hours of shade for two days, then add about a half hour of direct sunlight per day until they are getting six hours of full sunlight per day, keeping a close watch for sunscald.
However, reading juanitos very informative post, I should not need that much time, as according to my calculations, my 12 lamp T5HO fixture that the plants have been under since germination is putting out ~50K lumens in an 8 ft2 area, or ~65K lux.
2-7 days place in full shade under a tree or something. indirect light is still pretty bright compare to indoors. (like shade is not completely black you can still see in it eh?)
2-7 days place in half day sun. evening and morning sun are less intense easier for plants to acclimate to. put near the edges of your shade from above. or put on the east or west of a structure. (will be lit/shaded half the day after sun passes mid point)
good to go
going from 2-10k lux from an indoor setup to full 100k + sunlight will kill plants. even a couple hours is enough to kill leaves.
also cloudy days are great for hardening off
lux table for reference approximates: full sunlight 100k sunny day shade 15k cloudy day 2k sun rise/set .4k
here's the 3 year old coco. much thicker now but still has some structure after i broke up the roots with a spade for a bit. mix in some fresh coco chunks or perlite or something to keep it fluffy and good to go. of course the disease chances are much higher though =\
lots of roly poleys (like hundreds wtf) and a few snails and grubs hiding in the bags.