i was wondering if seeds can germinate in pure compost.
I think most of use maintaining compost piles have witnessed seed germination in the piles. Hot compost piles, over 150 degrees, maintained for a day or more, will kill MOST seeds. A cold compost pile will make a very good site for seed germination. Al
Inside or outside?
Sure seeds will germinate in a compost pile outside - it is a wonderful natural world in the pile outside. Large seeds tolerate it well, small seeds not so well but you can still get a 50-60% germination rate.
But if you are talking about using compost indoors in small containers for germinating seeds rather than using a sterile soil-less mix, then no.
The odds of successful germination and survival in the artificial indoor environment are very low. Compost compacts and drains slowly plus indoor air temps encourage the proliferation of all the bacteria and fungi naturally in the compost - not something small young seedlings can survive. Damp-off is very common with the seedlings if they do germinate.