Vermiculture is a technique based on utilizing some
species of earthworms to convert organic waste into vermicompost.
It is a practice of harvesting worms that take part in decomposing
organic waste and turning it into nutrient-rich fertilizer.
Vermicompost contain water soluble nutrients and is an excellent, nutrient-rich organic fertilizer and soil conditioner. It is used in farming and small scale sustainable, organic farming.
Vermicomposting can also be applied for treatment of sewage. A variation of the process is vermifiltration. Which is used to remove organic matter, pathogens and oxygen demand from wastewater or blackwater of flush toilets.
EARTHWORM CULTURES:Selection of earthworm species is the one of the important criteria to harness the potential of earthworm in vermicomposting process. The red wigger or tiger worm is commonly used earthworm.
VERMICULTURE BED:Vermiculture bed or worms bed(3m) can be prepared by placing after saw dust or husk or coir waste or sugarcance trash in the bottom of tub/container. A layer of fine sand (3m) should be spread over the culture bed followed by a layer of garden soil(3m). All layers must be moistened with water.
SUBSTRATE FOR VERMICOMPOSTING:Organic wastes like crop residues, kitchen wastes, market wastes, bio-wastes of agro based industries, live stock wastes, weeds, and other biodegradable wastes.
PRECAUTION TO BE TAKEN FOR VERMICULTURE:1.Care should be taken to avoid any non-biodegradable components in the compost mixture like plastic, iron, or glass pieces.
2.The vermi beds should be protected under the roof. The temperature of the bed should not exceed 35 0 c.
3.The worms should be protected from natural predators.
4.Do not put fresh cow dung on the bed because it is hot and it can kill the earthworm.