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We all like to have toxin-free foods. But today in any vegetable is consisted with pesticide residuals. Mainly these toxins accumulate in crops via our management practices like adding chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Actually can’t we make them healthy?  Yes, we can. The solution is finding alternatives to pesticides and chemical fertilizers. So, natural fertilizers and pesticides are a good solution to this problem. In here I am going to talk about a natural fertilizer called as vermicompost. So let’s see about vermicompost.

What is vermicompost?

Yes! It is a type of compost. But to produce this directly involved by earthworms. Did you see worm castings on the soil surface?  Yes, you know. But we can’t collect them everywhere. So we need to make them like rearing cows to have cow dung.  So that process is called as Vermicomposting or the soil clusters they expel from earthworms digestive tracts are known as worm-casts or castings.

Why we should add worm castings?

You can think to compare below chart why we should add them. This is a nutrient analysis of worm casting compared to the surrounding soil. 

This is a nutrient analysis of worm casting compared to the surrounding soil.

Worm casts (Lbs/ac)
Soil (Lbs/ac)
Soil had 4% organic matter.

According to the analysis, it shows worm cast is very rich with the nutrients.
When we talk about vermicompost, it is necessary to talk about earthworms. Is it the only advantage of earthworms that making worm cast? No! Actually, there are many advantages to them. Let’s see what are they and how to help them to improve the soil.

Other Benefits of Earthworms

The soil is teeming with organisms that cycle nutrients from the soil to plant and back again. Actually, worms eat dead plant material left on top of the soil and redistribute the organic matter and nutrients throughout the topsoil layer.  So they help to cycle process of the nutrients.

Next, Earthworms burrow and enhance the water infiltration and soil aeration. They make holes in the soil when they pass through the soil. So they are helping to make a good aeration and infiltration via the holes. Normally the soils with earthworms can absorb 4 to 10 times water amount than the soil without earthworms. So persistence of them is good for the resist to the drought conditions.

The tunnels that they created are helping during droughts. These tunnels allow for deep plant root penetration into subsoil regions of higher moisture content. So the plant can survive easily.

In addition to organic matter, worms also consume soil and soil microbes. So they grind hard rock pieces into smoother and also destroy some pathogenic microbes.

Earthworms are also secreting a plant growth stimulant. So they help to grow plant healthy and vigorously.

How to make vermicompost at home garden?

Actually, we know now what the vermicompost is and how they come. So we need to make them massively for our garden purpose. This method is called as vermiculture. So in here we artificially supply foods for many of the earthworms. So they make worm cast for us, and we can collect them for our purpose.

Take a suitable plastic or wooden container. Fill it with only organic compounds like dried leaves or kitchen waste and don’t burn your unnecessary newspapers. Think they have lots of cellulose to eat them. Next spread some water on them and add earthworms on it. That is all. Within a few weeks, they will make what you want. Don’t forget to add water and materials gradually. 

Dried leaves
Dried leaves
Worm cast
Worm cast

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