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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Composting: Vermicomposting



Composting is the biological degradation of solid organic waste into stable end products. The term compost applies to a considerable number of  composted materials produced from a variety of sources. In its broadest sense , it includes any organic material that has undergone managed aerobic microbial degradation at elevated temperatures, resulting in significant microbial, physical and chemical changes to the original material. These composts have been produced using source-separated materials derived from green wastes, kitchen wastes and wood wastes and may also include animal manure but are not derived exclusively from them.

Composting: Vermiculture
Soil Fauna - Termites and Earthworms  - play vital role in maintaining soil quality and also in managing efficient nutrient cycling


The Composting Process
Composting can be defined as the biological decomposition and stabilization of organic substrates, under conditions that allows thermophilic temperature as a result of biologically produced heat 

Aerobic Composting

•Composting with decomposers that need air (oxygen)

•The fastest way to make high quality compost

•Produces no foul odors

•Aerobic decomposers produce heat

•Active composting occurs in the temperature range of 55oF to 155oF,

Pile temperature may increase above 140oF but this is too hot for most bacteria and decomposition will slow until temperature decreases again


Vermicompost - Making compost with the use of earthworms.


vermicompost process


  • Its a stable fine granular organic matter added to the clay soil helps loossen the soil and allows to passage for the entry of air.
  • Mucous associated with the cast can absorb water which prevents logging, improves water holding capacity.
  • Improves physical/chemical/biological properties of soil.
  • Yield of crop is increased.
Advantages
  1. Easy Management.
  2. Vermicomposting wastes as source - Profitably utilized and commercialized for economic gains.
  3. Domestic, agricultural, rural industrial organic wastes can be recycled for various usages which will help in reducing pollution.
  4. Loss of nutrients by leaching + nutrient loss is minimal.
Disadvantages
  1. Less extent of damaging crops.
  2. Casts - as ugly structures in ornamental lawns.
  3. Occasionally transmits many parasites and disease of plants and animals.

Vermiculture Process
  1. Site Selection.
  2. Availability of decomposible organic waste, daily quantity and quality, etc.
  3. Marketable outlet and requirement with future scope.
  4. Collection and study of earthworm culture.
  5. Testing.
  6. Maintenance of seed culture.
Vermicomposting Materials
  • Animal dung, Agricultural wastes
  • Industry wastes
  • City leaf litter
  • Waste paper and cotton cloth etc.
  • Biogas Slurry
Primary Treatment of Composting material
  1. Sorting, Separation.
  2. Exposure to sun for a day.
  3. Mixing of daily organic waste products.
Indoor Vemicomposting


how to do vermicompost


Moisture Content - 30 - 40%
Temperature - 20 - 30oC
  • Earthworms - Perionyx excavatus, Eudrilus eugeniae
  • Biological indicators of soil activities - used for monitoring and maintaining biological health of soil.