What is Vermiculture?
The term vermiculture mainly refers to the scientific process of cultivating worm or artificial rearing of worms to decompose organic food wastes into a nutrient-rich material. The output of vermiculture is called vermicompost and is formed by the process in which earthworms consume the farmyard manure and roughages in addition to the wastes from farms and thereby producing it. The produced vermicompost is rich in terms of nutrients and other plant growth promoting substances, which is capable of supplying necessary mineral nutrients to help and sustain plants growth.
Also refer: Vermicomposting
The primary components used in the preparation of Vermicompost include different types of wastes, including the household garbage, industrial wastes in liquid form and wastes from the municipality can also be used.
For culturing earthworms, crop residues, dry leaves, cattle dung, sawdust, coir waste, paddy husk, slurry from the biogas plant, poultry waste and vegetable wastes are the basic materials and the complete process of culturing should be done under shelter to avoid direct sunlight and flooding by heavy rain
Most of us would be surprised by the fact that these earthworms are essential for maintaining a healthy environment rather than just converting garbage to useful manure. The process of earthworm multiplication and garbage conversion by earthworms into compost are very simple, that farmers could do it by themselves.
Explore more about: Biodegradable and Non-Biodegradable Substances
How to Multiply Earthworms in Large Scale
The best method used by farmers to multiply the earthworms is by mixing more amount of biodegradable wastes, including the plant materials, dried leaves and cow dung in a proportion of 1:1. Once the medium is done, around 40-50 earthworms species are released into the medium and protected it from sun, rain and other prey. Regular maintenance is required, keep a check at the moisture level by sprinkling water over it on a timely basis. Within a timeframe of one to two months, the earthworms would multiply by 300 times relying on this process alone. Thus, the new earthworms would assist us in preparing the vermicompost.
Also refer: Earthworm: Morphology And Anatomy
Merits of Vermicomposting
- Since it does not contain chemical elements, vermicompost being prepared from organic wastes (biodegradable) is a natural fertilizer and eco-friendly too.
- Does not impact the environment, soil, and plants adversely.
- Soil compaction is reduced by it by boosting the soil aeration, tilth and texture.
- Owing to its high organic matter content, it improves the soil’s water retention capacity.
- Better nutrient absorption and root growth are promoted by it.
- Both the micro and macronutrients of the soil status are improved by its use.
- The pit for the compost should be shielded from exposure to sunlight
- Guard the worms against pests and rats, bird, ants, etc.
- Sprinkle water on the pit when necessary to sustain the moisture level.
From the above discussion, one could state beyond doubt that earthworms are certainly one of the significant creatures on earth despite them being tiny in size.
Explore more information about the Vermicomposting, its procedure, and other related topics @ BYJU’S Biology