This project only tested the macronutrient contents of the harvested earthwormcastings and compared them with those of other organic fertilizers. This proposal,however, did not include tests for macronutrient contents and other qualities of thecastings produced. Also, this proposal did not test whether different waste materials produce different nutrient content for the castings.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Vermicomposing is the culture of earthworms in a composting system. Theearthworms ingest organic matter as well as soil. As these materials pass through theearthworm’s body, they are mixed with digestive enzymes and reduced by the grindingaction within the animal. The organic matter comes out of the earthworms as castings thatcontain plant nutrients. To work well, the earthworms prefer a well-aerated but moisthabitat. They thrive well where farm manure or plant residues had been added to the soil.Most of them thrive best where the soil is not too acidic (Brandy, 1990).Apelhof, as cited by Blackgold Vericompost Manufacturing Corporation (BVMC,1987), reported that the
, one of the 3000 species of earthworms presently identified, caught the interest of agriculturist and other earth worm enthusiasts.The
or the African night crawler has a deep maroon shade, andmeasures from 4 to 12 inches in length.Composting produces essential nutrients for plant growth. These nutrients areclassified into macro and micronutrients. Relatively large amounts of macronutrients arerequired whereas micronutrients are required in small amounts only. These elements must be present in right proportions for when there is deficiency or excess of any element, thismay seriously affect plant growth. The plants would develop symptoms of starvation or toxicity. The macronutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Every livingcell contains nitrogen and its abundance leads to green, succulent growth. Phosphorusoccurs in the protoplasm, with its great concentration in seeds thereby increasing their production. Potassium influences the uptake of other elements and affects bothrespiration and transpiration (Fitzpatrick, 1974).
Kitchen wastes, composed mainly of vegetable and fruit peelings, were gathered,shredded, and placed in garbage bags with small holes. Temperature build-up inside the bags due to partial decomposition was measured and allowed to lower down for onemonth until three consecutive declining of temperature were achieved.Three set-ups measuring 15 x 18 inches were prepared and were covered with plastic. One box contained pure carabao manure, the other box contained 70 percentcarabao manure and 30 percent processed kitchen wastes and the last box contained pure processed kitchen wastes. About one hundred pieces of Lumbricus terrestris were placed