Composting and Vermicomposting methods

Composting:

Composting is basically an acceleration of a natural decaying process. By combining varying organic wastes (that likely would otherwise have been thrown away) in the right proportions, the end result is a nutrient-rich soil that can be put back in the earth to enhance gardens and plant beds.

What to Add:

Add both brown materials (twigs, dead leaves, branches, etc.) and green materials (grass clippings, vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, leaves, etc.) Other items that are great for composting include; Cardboard rolls, egg shells, tea bags, banana peels, shredded, paper, unwanted house-plants, animal manure and nut shells. If your compost is a bin with a cover, add water to ensure the materials stay hydrated. Frequent stirring with a pitchfork helps mesh the different materials together and provides uniform moisture throughout the pile or bin.

What Not to Add:

Do not add any animal fat or meat, as this will attract unwanted critters to your yard. Other items to avoid include milk and dairy products, poison ivy, pet waste from carnivorous animals, coal and yard trimmings that have been treated with chemicals or pesticides.

Benefits of Composting:

A one of the best methods of natural recycling, composting has numerous benefits. First, composting enriches soils and adds nutrients that are useful for healthy gardens and plants. Secondly, Composting composting alleviates the amount of, garbage being put into our land fills, and instead places, the material in an environment where it can decay rapidly and effectively. Composting also has economic benefits. Gardeners who compost will need to purchase far fewer soil additives, due to the natural nutrients in composted soil.

Vermicomposting Methods:

The most widely used Vermicomposting system, worldwide, is the ‘bed’ method, which involves applying thin layers of sanitized and partially matured compost, to the surface of beds containing high densities of earthworms.

New layers of waste applied to beds on a regular basis and the earthworms move upwards into the fresh waste to feed and to process the material. Earthworm numbers increase as more waste applied until a limiting density reached.

The earthworms then harvested or the beds divided. Harvesting earthworms by hand can a very time consuming business and although in principle trammel screens would suitable, these seldom used.

The top 100 mm to 150 mm of the composted soil removed regularly and the worm compost sold.

Advantages of Vermicomposting

  • Vermicomposting an ecofriendly natural fertilizer prepared from biodegradable organic wastes and free from chemical inputs.
  • It does not have any adverse effect en soil, plant and environment.
  • It improves soil aeration, texture and filth thereby reducing soil compaction.
  • Vermi compost pit should protected from direct sun light. To maintain moisture level, spray water on the pit as an when required.
  • It improves water retention capacity of soil because of its high organic matter content, It promotes better root growth and nutrient absorption.
  • It improves nutrient status of soil-both macro-nutrients and micro- nutrients.

Protect the worms from ant, rat and bird Vermicomposting is a modified and specialized method of composting. The process uses earthworms to’ eat and digest farm wastes. Turn out a high quality compost in two months or less.

Vermicompost not a bio fertilizer as touted by some, merely improved compost. Vermicompost can also used to make compost tea. Vermi compost tea is useful as a prophylactic against pests and diseases for pest repelling and as a foliar spray. A by-product of Vermi composting ‘called vermi wash (which can be collected if there is a tap at the base of the Vermicompost tank) also serves the same purpose.

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