Vermicomposting: Phase of Vermicomposting and Methodology for the Production of Vermicompost

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Vermicomposting

Process where organic wastes are composted using selected species of worms such as earthworm, red wrigglers and white worms and are converted into vermicompost or humus or worm manure

Phase of Vermicomposting

  • Collection and separation

  • Digestion of organic wastes

  • Preparation of earthworm bed

  • Collection of the vermicompost

  • Storage of the compost

Methodology for the Production of Vermicompost

  • Selection of suitable earthworm: Most suitable species for vermicomposting-Epigeic or surface-dwelling earthworm

  • Selection of suitable location: It requires shaded place having high humidity and cool environment.

  • Selection of Containers: Dimensions of cement tank- 2½ x 3 feet height and breadth, respectively.

  • Vermiculture bed: The bedding material can be prepared by placing saw dust / husk / coir waste / sugarcane trash at the bottom of the container with a layer of fine sand and garden soil spread over the culture bed.

  • Bedding materials: Excellent bedding material- Shredded paper or cardboard combined with typical on-farm organic resources such as straw and hay.

  • Worm Food: Most commonly used feedstock- manures.

Vermicompost Production Process

  • At first, cattle dung is dried in sunlight and other wastes are pre-digested for 20 days with cow dung.

  • With 30% cattle dung, the pre-digested waste is mixed with a moisture level of 60% throughout the process.

  • Selected earthworms are spread uniformly over the waste.

  • Roughly for one-meter length, one-meter breadth and 0.5-meter height of the vermined, 1 kg of worm (1000 Nos.) is needed.

  • Periodic harvesting of castings formed on the top layer should be done as it gets compacted while maintaining moisture.

  • After the vermicompost is produced, earthworms are harvested using cow dung balls which are then used in the next batch of composting.

Nutritive Value of Vermicompost

Heterogeneous waste has wide range of nutrients while homogeneous wastes have certain nutrients available.

Illustration 1 for Nutritive Value of Vermicompost

Illustration 1 for Nutritive Value of Vermicompost

Multiple Choice Questions

1. The maximum temperature to be maintained for vermicomposting is

  1. 20ºC

  2. 25ºC

  3. 30ºC

  4. 35ºC

Answer: d

2. Which among the following characteristics are to be maintained in bedding material for vermined?

  1. High absorbency (Moisture)

  2. Good bulking potential (Aeration)

  3. Low protein and/or nitrogen content (Food source)

  4. All of the above

Answer: d

3. Which type of earthworms are majorly required for vermicomposting?

  1. Anecic

  2. Epigeic

  3. Endogeic

  4. All of the above

Answer: b

4. The moisture level to be maintained for vermicomposting is

  1. 30%

  2. 40%

  3. 50%

  4. 60%

Answer: d

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