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Process of Vermicomposting

Process of Vermicomposting

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Published by Somenath Kundu

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Published by: Somenath Kundu on Jul 27, 2010
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10/25/2012

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Vermicompost
Process of Manufacturing:
Soil is to be excavated in the four katcha sheds upto a depth of about one foot for preparing the beds whichcontain organic waste, vermi castings and cowdung. The length and width of the beds is 100ft. and 5 ft.respectively. Some paddy straw should be spread evenly at the bottom of the excavations. Vermi castings are placed over this straw and the shredded waste material and cowdung slurry are charged in order to feed theearthworms. Charging of waste and cowdung slurry should be continued till the heap of material is one footabove the ground level. The entire bed should be sprinkled with water daily to keep the heaps moist. The heapsare covered with gunny bags to keep them completely dark. The temperature should be maintained at less than 28deg. C. In two months time, the entire waste would been digested by the earthworms and converted into dark  brown compost rich in organic nutritive matter. After drying, this material is sieved and sold.
Vermicompost and its utilization
Vermicompost is nothing but the excreta of earthworms, which is rich in humus and nutrients. We can rear earthworms artificially in a brick tank or near the stem / trunk of trees (specially horticultural trees). Byfeeding these earthworms with biomass and watching properly the food (bio-mass) of earthworms, we can produce the required quantities of vermicompost.
Advantages of vermicompost:
1. Vermicompost is rich in all essential plant nutrients.2. Provides excellent effect on overall plant growth, encourages the growth of new shoots / leaves andimproves the quality and shelf life of the produce.3. Vermicompost is free flowing, easy to apply, handle and store and does not have bad odour.4. It improves soil structure, texture, aeration, and waterholding capacity and prevents soil erosion.5. Vermicompost is rich in beneficial micro flora such as a fixers, P- solubilizers, cellulose decomposingmicro-flora etc in addition to improve soil environment.6. Vermicompost contains earthworm cocoons and increases the population and activity of earthworm in thesoil.7. It neutralizes the soil protection.8. It prevents nutrient losses and increases the use efficiency of chemical fertilizers.9. Vermicompost is free from pathogens, toxic elements, weed seeds etc.10. Vermicompost minimizes the incidence of pest and diseases.11. It enhances the decomposition of organic matter in soil.12. It contains valuable vitamins, enzymes and hormones like auxins, gibberellins etc.
Nutrient content of vermicompost
 Nitrogen- 1.5 – 2.5 % Calcium- 0.5 – 1.0 %Phosphorus- 0.9 – 1.7 % Magnessium- 0.2 – 0.3 %Potash- 1.5 – 2.4 % Sulphur- 0.4 - 0.5 %And other micronutrients with vitamins, enzymes and hormones.
Materials for preparation of Vermicompost:
Any types of biodegradable wastes-1. Crop residues 2. Weed biomass 3. Vegetable waste 4. Leaf litter 5. Hotel refuse 6. Waste from agro-industries 7. Biodegradable portion of urban and rural wastes.
Methods of preparation
1. The vermicompost can be prepared in concrete tank. The size of the tank should be 10 ft. length or moredepending upon the availability of land and raw materials, breadth 3- 5ft and height 3 ft. Suitable plastictube / basin structure may also be needed. The floor of the tank should be connected with stones and piecesof bricks.2. The available bio-wastes are to be collected and are to be heaped under sun about 7-10 days and bechopped if necessary.3. Sprinkling of cow dung slurry to the heap may be done.4. A thin layer of half decomposed cow dung (1-2 inches) is to be placed at the bottom.

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