Earthworms: Up and Close
Dragonflies don’t just fly around looking pretty: they eat mosquitoes. Spiders don’t just crawl around looking scary: they eat flies and other pests. Earthworms don’t just hide underground looking gross: they create amazing compost for your garden.
Of all earthworms, the tiger worm is one of the most effective at creating compost. It is so effective that there is an established practice of using these (and a few other) worms to create compost, through a process called vermicomposting.
Simply put, vermicompost is earthworm excrement. This excrement, or vermicast, is the end result of worms feeding on household organic residues like leftover dinner, newspaper, leaves, etc. Tiger worms, for example, eat as much as their body weight every single day. 90 percent of this waste is converted into vermicast leaving 10 percent for their energy. Each adult tiger worm weighs around one gram. So, if you have one kilogram of tiger worms feeding on one kilogram of organic waste, you will have 900 grams of highly effective compost in a matter of two to three weeks!
All you have to do is remove the top layer from your vermicompost bin, which looks like used tea leaves, and mix it soil using a one part vermicast to three parts soil ratio. Soon enough you’ll have healthy and beautiful plants growing all over your garden.
Why use vermicompost when you can purchase regular compost?
Vermicompost contains a higher percentage of both macro and micronutrients than regular garden compost. According to an expert on vermicomposting from Praramva Biotech, Kathmandu, vermicomposting has a 100% success rate for plant growth, as it is completely organic and does not contain any chemicals that market compost may or may not include (regardless of what their packaging may state.) And if none of these reasons convince you to try vermicomposting instead of regular compost, just think of the thousands of pets you’ll get to have!
Doko Recyclers is beginning vermicomposting for our gardens at Sano Thimi. If you want to do so for your own garden, give us a call at 98020-71578, or send us a message on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. We will set you up with you very own vermicomposting kit so that you can begin upgrading your garden!
Pranav Rajouria, Communications and Partnerships Coordinator