In this Sunday entry and before Christmas Eve we are going to comment on what vermicompost is and what is the difference with respect to common compost . We are also going to show you some tips how we try to do in Gardenprue on how to assemble your vermicompost pile. Try the two compost options and choose the one you like best!
WHAT IS VERMICOMPOST?
We are going to comment on it in an incredibly simple way. Vermicomposting is adding a specific type of earthworm to the traditional compost pile. This “special” worm is called the California red worm or Eisenia foetida . The fact of adding these worms and transforming the compost into vermicompost achieves a higher quality humus. As we already mentioned in the entry of the fauna that we could find in our compost pile, the worms are in charge of digesting the decomposing remains and excreting the equivalent of their weight in compost useful for plants.
Don’t forget that vermicompost has several names. It is also known as vermicompost, and it is within a rather peculiar world known as vermicompost. Well, let’s see more about this composting technique.
A practically finished compost
TO WHAT DEGREE DOES COMPOST OF THIS TYPE IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF THE SOIL?
A lot of. Keep in mind that a normal compost pile is based on the decomposition of what you add (food scraps, vegetables, paper, etc.), and fauna directly or indirectly intervenes in it. In the case of vermicompost, we can find various insects or microorganisms, but mainly worms. To give us an idea of to what extent a worm waste can improve a soil, we provide you with these data.
The waste of the worm, once ingested, contributes these amounts in more concentration with respect to the normal and current decomposition product of a pile:
- 5 times higher percentage of nitrogen
- 7 times higher percentage of phosphorus
- Percentage 5 times greater than potassium
- Percentage 2 times greater of calcium
Basically with these data we say that this is the approximate difference between compost and vermicompost. Therefore, later the quantities that we add to our garden will be less and more efficient.
I LIKE THE IDEA! HOW DO I START?
As we have said before, it hardly has any differences with respect to the traditional version, except, of course, the worms.
With just a handful of worms that you can buy in farms or specialized sites (especially on the internet) you can start. The worms have an incredible reproductive capacity, and in just a few months they double in number. So when you have your compost ready the number of worms will be quite high in your composter .
Of course, since worms are the ones who rule and do the hard work, we have to make things easier for them by getting the amounts of humidity and temperature they demand.
There is a product that we have to avoid adding to the compost pile and it is because the earthworm has a hobby for it. They are citrus peels. If you cut the vegetable remains into small pieces, you increase the speed of composting and facilitate the work of the bugs.
At the beginning of the vermicompost, when you add the Eisenia foetida there must be a humidity percentage of around 80%. Make sure the pile is not dry, or add water with a rubber band or watering can. If you have already experimented with the traditional compost pile, think that the humidity levels would be at the beginning at 50-60%, so in the vermicompost you will need a little more humidity.
With regard to temperature, the ideal temperature for the development of red worms is 20ºC. As you will not always have that temperature (hot or cold), you have a wide range where it is not affected, between 10ºC and 35º C (Much better!).
AND WHEN I HAVE THE FINAL ORGANIC MATTER, WHAT DO I DO WITH THE WORMS?
Ideally, have several stacks or stacks in different states. In this way, a migratory process takes place from the finished pile to the pile at the beginning of the process. For example, you can have 4 compartments separated by grids (so that worms can circulate), or if you don’t want to complicate things, 2 is enough. Here is an example of a worm compost scheme.
4-compartment vermicompost according to compost state
As we surely want to add more things about the vermicompost, we will edit this entry and we will notify you on social networks. Also, does it seem that we are obliged to add an entry about earthworms, right? I hope you liked it!