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Posted by Avedaorganicnursery on 23-04-2019 13:41:25 in Fertilizers never

Description

Vermicasting, also called vermicomposting, is the processing of organic wastes through earthworms. It is a natural, odourless, aerobic process, much different from traditional composting. Earthworms ingest waste then excrete casts – dark, odourless, nutrient- and organically rich, soil mud granules that make an excellent soil conditioner. Earthworm casts are a ready-to-use fertilizer that can be used at a higher rate of application than compost, since nutrients are released at rates that growing plants prefer.

Vermicasting can be done on a small scale by homeowners with household organic wastes, on a large-scale by farmers with manure or by the food industry using organic wastes such as fruit and vegetable cull materials. Through proper design, vermicasting is a method of waste handling that:

  • is clean, socially acceptable, with little to no odour
  • requires no energy input for aeration
  • reduces the mass of waste by 30%
  • produces a valuable vermicast byproduct
  • even generates worms as fishing bait

Important Facts About Vermicasting

  • Turning organic wastes into casts takes 22–32 days, depending on density of waste and earthworm maturity (regular composting requires 30–40 days, followed by 3–4 months curing).
  • Vermicast does not need curing, but fresh casts undergo 2 weeks of nitrification where ammonium transforms to nitrate, a form that plants can uptake.
  • Use organic materials that meet the earthworm's feed preferences, including a material density of 350–650 g/L.
  • Worms should not be crowded, so the ideal stocking density is 150 earthworms/L of wastes.
  • Earthworms ingest about 75% of their body weight/day; a 0.2 g worm eats about 0.15 g/day.
  • If you discover earthworms trying to escape any system, it is a good indication that something is wrong with their feed or environment
  • Earthworms should be allowed about 1 week to migrate from finished vermicast to fresh waste.
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