- Fertilizers & Compost
How to make vermicompost at home
Vermicompost is an organic fertilizer produced with the help of feeding earth worms with waste materials from plants/vegetables/fruits.
Vermicompost is the final product developed after the waste material is eaten by the earth worms . The process of producing a Vermicompost is called Vermicomposting . Earth worms are called farmer’s best friend as it helps in increasing the soil health and increases nutrient values in plants. It also helps in degrading pesticide residues. The density and amount of earth worms in a soil is considered as a good symptom of quality soil. Here, through Vermicomposting, earth worms are used to decompose organic wastes into high quality compost which further can be used as organic fertilizers for plants.
Many gardeners and farmers have started adapting the method of using Vermicomposting to develop fertilizers for their farms and gardens. Farmers have realized the quality superiority of vermicompost over the traditional chemical fertilizers.
Vermicompost mostly include worm poops and decayed organic material. If the climate is ideal for the worms, they eat the food that is almost equal to their body weight. The ideal climate for the worms is 15-20 degree Celsius. Temperature above 30 degree can harm them. Earthworm can also be fine at 10 degree Celsius
Vermicompost is a water soluble nutrient rich organic fertilizer, soil conditioner. And is one of the best replacements for chemical fertilizers that we are using.
Difference between non organic fertilizers and Vermicompost:
Chemical fertilizers are nothing but non-organic minerals that acts like a mineral in the soil to help the plant grow. But since its unnatural and inorganic, it increases the acidity level of the soil and kills the essential microorganisms in the soil. It also contributes towards the environment pollution since at time of rain it gets dissolved and plays a vital factor in polluting underground water and drinking water sources. Vegetables and fruits that are sprayed with these chemical fertilizers effects the human health, when consumed as it is easily absorbed by the fruit/vegetable.
Vermicompost is a pure natural fertilizer and is 100 % environment friendly. Vermicompost also helps to reduce the residues of pesticides in the soil. It is rich in nutrients and helps to increase the humus level in the soil which is important for a plants growth.
Hence using Vermicompost not only helps to increase your yield with faster plant growth, but also helps in maintaining the quality of soil, helping the environment.
What is the usage of Vermicompost?
Vermicompost is very good for starting seeds. Adding a little Vermicompost to the seed starting medium can help in faster growth of the seed. Vermicompost also can be used as a top dressing for the plants. Vermicompost is most ideal for houseplants, since we can change the soil when required in an easy manner.
The quantity of Vermicompost to be used depends on the type of plant. For example, in case of tomato,brinjal, ladies finger, lettuce and pepper plants 10%,12%,12%, 8%, and 6% Vermicompost substitution to the soil are preferred and can increase the yield by 20%. For cloves and black pepper yields are 50% more, with usage of Vermicompost.
How to make vermicompost?
To make vermicompost, Mainly we need the composting container.Here we can use Big bucket/ waste bin container.If you have more waste materials and needs more vermicompost for your vegetable garden, we need to have a multiple composting tray worm Composter as shown in figure below.
Equipment's and Materials Required:
- Plastic Bucket - big bucket with enough space or
a Worm Composter
- Coconut coir/shredded paper or cardboard
- Dry cow dung
- Eggshell powder
- Small portion of compost and worms (This can be obtained from any farmer who is already having a compost pit or from your nearest agricultural department or from any worm supplies).If you didn't get the worms, please go to the bottom of this article, I added the composting worms to buy online.
- Vegetables and fruits waste.
Key Features of Worm Factory 360 Composter:
- The Worm Factory 360 has a standard 4-Tray size which is expandable up to 8 trays, giving it the largest volume of any home composter.
- The redesigned lid converts to a handy stand for trays while harvesting the compost.
- Included instructional DVD with step-by-step guide for managing your Worm Factory 360.
- The accessory kit provides basic tools to make managing the Worm Factory 360 easier.
- Built in "worm tea" collector tray and spigot for easy draining.
- It increases Composting Speed.
- Ideal For Households of 1-4 people, additional trays can expand the worm factory to handle larger households.
- Made in the USA with high-quality recycled materials and includes a 10-year warranty.
- Your first tray will take about three months to become fully composted by the worms. After the first tray is composted the other trays can take as little as a month depending on the waste added. Once you harvest your finished compost from the bottom tray, you will have an empty tray to stack on top again.
How to make coconut coir peat from coir brick:
1. Buy a coconut coir block, it costs approximately $11 to $18. You will get this in brick shape.
2. Put this brick in a container, add 50-60 ounces of water.
3. Wait for 10 minutes, this coconut brick will expands and now you can easily stir using hands or garden trowel. After light stir, you will get fluffy mixture of coconut coir fibers or peat as shown in picture below.
Transition of Coconut coir peat from coir brick:
Dry Cow Dung Cakes :
Procedure to make Vermicompost at home:
- Make small drain holes at the bottom of the plastic bucket. You can use a driller or can use an iron rod with small thickness to make drain holes. Make sure that the drain holes are small in size.
- Dip the coconut coir, shredded paper, and card board in water. Add dry cow dung powder to it.
- Squeeze the water out and spread it inside the bucket, making it a bed for the worms. This helps to give a moist atmosphere for the worms. Worms love moisture since they breath through their skin and moisture helps them.
- Spread a layer of the compost.
- Drop the worms.
- Spread egg shell powder evenly.
- Now your compost pit is ready and you can start putting your organic waste such as waste vegetables, tea bags, coffee powder, etc. Make sure that you bury the waste inside the vermicompost.. It is recommended to close the container with a lid. Citrus fruits and bones should be avoided from the organic waste that you put, since its not good for the earth worm’s health. The wastes are very quickly eaten by the earth worms. Once all the products are eaten by the earth worms, it can be used as waste.
After 3 months period, you can open the big bucket lid, then remove the paper waste at the top you can see the well formed vermicompost. Remove the worms from the compost and you can use it for plants.The removed worms can be used again in the next cycle of preparation of vermicompost.
How to add Vegetable and fruits waste in the Composter Tray:
Vermicompost Prepared After 3 Months:
In the given video, steps or procedure illustrated very easily.if you are using big waste bin or bucket for composting purpose, you can follow my procedure and video to make vermicompost. If you are using worm composter, follow the instructions in the manual given with product. Happy Organic Vermi Composting!