What is Vermicompost, its types, purpose, advantages and disadvantages

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what are vermicomposts

vermicompost

Vermi composting is a scientific method of making compost using earthworms. They usually live in soil.

Vermicompost is the science of making compost. Vermicompost is the product of the decomposition process carried out by insects.

It consists of a mixture of decomposed organic matter such as vegetable or food waste or agricultural waste etc.

Raising insects for the purpose of making vermi compost is called vermiculture.

Vermiculture means “worm-farming” Earthworms feed on organic waste materials and excrete feces in the form of “vermicasts”.

Which are rich in nitrates and minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and potassium.

These are used as fertilizers which enhance the quality of the soil.

Types of Vermicompost Method

There are mainly two types of vermicompost.

1. Bed Method :- In this method organic matter is arranged in the form of bedding.

2. Pit Method :- As the name suggests, pits made of cement are made which collect organic matter.

Objectives of Vermicompost Method

The most important purpose of vermi composting is to manufacture and produce organic manure which has higher quality than other inorganic manure.

These materials can be used to compost organically to grow nutritious plants.

Its objective is to generate vermicompost using organic waste with the help of earthworms.

Nutrients of Vermicompost

nitrogen 1.6 percent
Phosphorus 0.7 percent
potassium 0.8 percent
calcium 0.5 percent
magnesium 0.2 percent
Iron 175 PPM
manganese 96.5 PPM
zinc 24.5 PPM

Vermicompost making process

vermicompost

Stuff
  1. Water
  2. cow dung
  3. thatch roof
  4. clay or sand
  5. gunny bag
  6. earthworms
  7. weed biomass
  8. A large bin (plastic or cemented tank)
  9. Dried straw and leaves collected from paddy fields
  10. Biodegradable waste collected from farms and kitchens

Process

  • Plastic or concrete tanks can be used to prepare the compost. The size of the tank depends on the quantity of raw material.
  • You can use a large tank if you want to make more compost and a smaller tank if you want to make a little manure.
  • Collect the biomass and keep it in sunlight for about 8 to 12 days. Now cut it into desired shape with the help of cutter.
  • Prepare a solution of cow dung and sprinkle it on the heap for quick decomposition.
  • Add a layer (2 to 3 inches) of soil or sand to the bottom of the tank.
  • Now prepare fine beds by mixing cow dung, dry leaves and other biodegradable waste collected from fields and kitchen. Spread them evenly over the layer of sand.
  • After mixing all the bio-waste, drop the earthworm over the mixture and cover the compost mixture with dry straw or sacks.
  • Spray water regularly to maintain the moisture content in the compost.
  • Cover the tank with thatch roof to prevent entry of ants, lizards, rats, snakes etc. and protect the compost from rain water and direct sunlight.
  • Check the compost frequently to avoid overheating. Maintain proper humidity and temperature.
  • In a multi-pit system, the water supply in the first pit should be switched off so that the insects will automatically move to the second pit.

Result

After 24th day about 4000 to 5000 new worms come and the whole raw material is converted into vermicompost.

The decomposition of organic waste into compost is done through the process of composting and compost is prepared which is added to the soil.

And helps in regaining the lost minerals and nutrients in the soil as it is rich in nutrients and also provides humus in the soil.

Compost also helps in landfill cover, soil erosion control and land reclamation.

Vermicompost is the decomposition of organic waste with the help of earthworms and white worms.

The final product after decomposition of organic waste is called vermicast. In which worm humus, worm manure and worm castings are made.

Vermicomposting is a faster process than composting. This fertilizer helps the soil to get back the minerals and nutrients lost due to continuous cropping in the soil.

This organic fertilizer is good for our environment as it does not harm the environment and does not have any dangerous effect on the human body.

benefits of vermi compost

Vermi compost has the following benefits.

  • Develops the roots of plants.
  • Improves the physical structure of the soil.
  • Vermi composting increases soil fertility and water resistance.
  • Helps in germination, plant growth and crop yield.
  • Nourishes the soil with plant growth hormones like auxin, gibberellic acid etc.
  • In vermi composting, farmers do not need to spend money to buy fertilizers from the market.
  • It is clean and very easy too.
  • It does not require any external energy input.
  • Vermicomposting turns kitchen waste and other green waste into nutrient-rich soil.
  • Due to the presence of microorganisms, it maintains healthy soil.

Disadvantages of Vermi Composting

Following are the important disadvantages of vermi composting.

  • This is a time-consuming process and takes up to six months to convert organic matter into compost for use.
  • Vermi composting gives a very foul smell.
  • Vermi composting requires high maintenance. Feed should be added from time to time and care should be taken that the insects do not have too many to eat.
  • The bin should not be too dry or too wet. The humidity level should be monitored from time to time.

difference between compost and vermicompost

Following are the differences between compost and vermicompost.

Fertilizer vermicompost
Manure is produced by using all types of waste. Vermicompost is produced from organic waste.
The amount of nutrients in manure is low. Vermicompost is rich in nutrients.
More space is required for compost preparation. Less space is required to prepare vermicompost.
The organic residues in compost are decomposed by bacteria. The organic residues in vermicompost are decomposed by earthworms.
Thermophilic bacteria are found in manure. Mesophilic bacteria are found in vermicompost.
It takes more time to produce manure. It takes less time to prepare vermicompost, as it produces compost faster.
Manure preparation requires more labor and more maintenance. Less labor and less maintenance are required to prepare vermicompost.

Which are the best worms for vermicompost

Eisenia foetida also known as red worms. The best insects for the purpose of vermicomposting are.

Vermicompost is a natural fertilizer. It is free from any chemicals like urea. So it does not cause any harm to our environment and are eco-friendly.

Which are the species of earthworm most used for vermicompost?

The most commonly used earthworm species are Eisenia foetida, Eisenia andrei, Eisenia hortensis, Lumbricus rubellus.

Most of these species have the ability to reproduce quickly.

Vermicomposting is done on a large scale in the United States, Philippines, Malaysia, India, Japan, Italy and Canada.

The waste used in large scale vermicomposting is cafeteria, food, agriculture, cotton mill, sewage sludge and cow dung waste.

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