Vermicomposting is the scientific method of making compost, by using earthworms. They are commonly found living in soil and they are known toincrease soil quality by recycling organic waste from many living forms into humus. Earthworms feed on the organic waste materials and give out excreta in the form of “vermicasts” that are rich in nitrates and minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and potassium. These are used as fertilizers and enhance soil quality. Commercial vermicomposting comprises two methods:
- Bed Method: This is an easy method in which beds of organic matter are prepared.
- Pit Method: In this method, the organic matter is collected in cemented pits. However, this method is not prominent as it involves problems of poor aeration and waterlogging.
Benefits of Vermicompost
Below are the Benefits of vermicompost in agriculture –
- Biological features of soil
Earthworms, functioning as eco-biological engineers, modify the characteristics of pesticide-contaminated soil and recover it by creating microbial and nutrientsenrichments. Vermiculture significantly impacts nutrient cycling and boosts crop resilience to fungal diseases and crop diseases.
- Social and environmentally friendly process
The nutrient recovery from organic wastes such as kitchen waste, agricultural waste and municipal waste is an essential part of their management and for decreasing degradation of the environment. It is socially acceptable, economically viable and environmentally sustainable technology throughout the world.
Vermicomposting may benefit both the manufacturersas well as consumers/farmers while encouraging social responsibility. Vermicompost has shown a higher benefit-cost ratio, net profitability and financial viability.
How Vermicomposting at home helps?
Yard garbage and food waste makes up roughly 30% of all items disposed of in landfills. These materials are readily compostable in municipal and backyard composting systems, and thankfully, composting programs have grown in tandem with garbage output in the urban areas. Vermicomposting at home can be very handy and useful process to manage organic waste such as food waste at home and can decrease the burden of waste output significantly.
Steps to start a Vermicompost
Below are 6 steps to start a Vermicompost.
- Get yourself a bin.
Make a wooden box, or find/purchase a plastic or wooden container. The dimensions are about 16″ x 24″ x 8″ are sufficient for home vermicomposting. Rinse the bin with tap water to eliminate any residues that may be hazardous to the worms.
- Make the bedding
Newspaper strips, like soil, offer air, water, and food for the worms.Tear 50 sheets of newspaper into 1/2″ to 1″ strips. Colored print, which may be hazardous to the worms, should be avoided.Fill the vermicomposting container halfway with newspaper strips. Add water until the Vermiculture bed has the consistency of a wet sponge, moist but not leaking. If it becomes too watery, add dry strips.Sprinkle 2-4 cups of soil into the bin to provide helpful bacteria and improve the worms’ digestive process. It is OK to use potting soil or dirt from the outside.
- Toss in the worms.
Add about 250 gms of worms (Nearly 1000 earthworms in count) into the bin. Weighing the worms is the most straight forward approach but if you do not have access to weighing, you can determine the volume of the worms.
- Bury food leftovers under the mattress.
Feed the worms fruit and vegetable leftovers such as peels, rinds, cores, etc. Limit the addition of citrus fruits. Feed worms three times their body weight once a week. Check the container every week to see whether the worms are consuming the food. Feeding amounts should be adjusted appropriately.
- Cover the bedding with a complete covering of dry newspaper.
It will assist in maintaining the moisture balance, keep any scents in the bin, and deter fruit flies from creating a home in the container. Replace this sheet regularly if fruit flies are present or the chest becomes too damp.
- Place the container in a convenient position.
The lid should be left ajar to allow the chest to breathe. If necessary, drill holes in the container, to avoid overheating. FEEDANDWET!!! Feed worms once a week. If the mattress gets dry, wet it. For too-wet bedding, add dry newspaper strips. Fluff the bedding once a week to allow the worms to breathe.
Vermicomposting Tips from Bharatvarsh Nature Farms
- Worms dislike having space in their container.
They aren’t fond of voids. They will be grateful if you bury their whole working area in a thick layer of light dry carbon material, such as shredded newspaper or chopped straw. Yes, it is usual to place a layer of cover material over the scraps–but the cover layer should occupy the whole vacant area right from the worm level to the lidin the bin.
- Employing worm castings in your home garden is novel and intriguing.
Castings are more than just natural fertilizer as they have ability to help soil come to life. You can make golf ball-sized plugs of new castings and burry them in flower beds (or pots). A tiny amount goes a long way when used in this manner as you are inoculating microbial life into your soil.These small helpful microbe arks will assist to revive the life of your soil.
How to use Vermicompost?
Ideally, Vermicompost is included in the soil mixture when potting a new plant. One part garden soil, one part coco-peat, and one part vermicompost (1:1:1) are mixed and put into the container.
You should use vermicompost every 30 days to give your growing plants a boost of nutrients.Sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 inch into the pot to replace the soil you took out.
Vermicompost boosts plant development, reduces plant disease, increases soil porosity and microbial activity, and improves water retention and aeration. Vermicompost also aids the environment by lowering the quantity of the trash that goes to landfills and also helps to lower the demand for chemical fertilizers.
We at BharatvarshNatureFarms prepare vermicompost from organic matters like cow dung, crop residue, vegetable residue etc. generated on our farms. At present we have a production capacity of 1 ton per month of Vermicompost.
If you are from Nagpur or Umred, we invite you to visit us at our farm to purchase vermicompost, farm fresh organic food supplies as well as dairy products. Our farm is situated At Post Virli, Taluka Umred, Dist. Nagpur– 441204 (MH)
If you are interested in subscription or daily home delivery of our dairy products or organic food supplies,you can call us @ 8603214214 or write to us @ firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, visit our website: www.bharatvarshnaturefarms.com