Compost is a good organic fertilizer and soil conditioner. It is produced by the decomposition of organic matter or agricultural wastes. High-quality compost can be produced by worms such as tiger worms, and is known as vermicast. Vermicast contains humus with high levels of nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
The use of tiger worms to produce vermicast has good potential for the production of organic fertilizer.
Producing Vermicast by Rearing Tiger Worms
- Decomposed or partially decomposed plant wastes such as rice straw, oilpalm fruit bunches or corn stalks ( Fig. 1 and Fig. 2).
- Manure of livestock (cattle, chickens, goats etc.) which has been fermented 1 -2 weeks. This serves as a supplementary food for the worms.
- Vermicast containing tiger worms.
- Prepare a site which is protected from sunlight and rain ( Fig. 3).
- Prepare a raised bed or box on a plastic sheet
- ( Fig. 4).
- Prepare a layer of decomposed or partially decomposed plant materials ( about 3-6 inches thick) on the plastic sheet, covered by a layer of manure (1-2 inches deep). If a box is used, follow the same procedure.
- Make a furrow in the raised bed, and place the vermicast containing the tiger worms in the furrow and cover it again ( Fig. 5 and Fig. 6).
- Cover the raised bed or box with moist sacks or newspapers. This in turn is covered by a layer of coconut leaves.
- Water the raised bed once every 2-3 days until the vermicast is ready to harvest ( Fig. 7).
Index of Images
Figure 1 Some Raw Materials for the Compost: Rice Straw
Figure 2 Some Raw Materials for the Compost: Empty Oilpalm Fruit Bunches
Figure 3 Site for the Compost Heap Protected from Sunshine and Rain
Figure 4 Raised Bed on Plastic Sheet
Figure 5 Vermicast Placed in Furrow
Figure 6 Covering the Vermicast
Figure 7 Watering the Vermicast
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