Vermicomposting is defined as a process that uses worms to break down decomposing unprocessed, and natural materials, to create vermicompost. The act of worm composting is also defined as vermiculture, where worms are bred for the intention of creating vermicompost or for being used as bait.
The best type of worms to use is red wigglers. They help to convert household and garden waste into nutrient-packed compost for personal use in our gardens, and can also be used to make money. The process of creating vermicompost is quite easy to do and doesn’t require a lot of resources to get started.
All you need to do is make a soil bed inside a container (worm farm) and then put all the biodegradable materials like twigs, leftover foods, fruit peelings, vegetables and other types of food/garden waste. The worms will then live within the bedding and feast on the biodegradable materials.
Alternatively, you can achieve this by keeping a population of worms outside in your soil. But this type of vermicomposting is a bit more difficult because more things need to be considered. They are harder to monitor and are more tricky to keep alive throughout the winter.
Within three months, the worms will multiply by the number of worms you first placed in the soil bed, and the worm’s presence makes the rate of decomposition much faster. The digested materials from the worms’ waste are called vermicast, and the end product is called worm fertilizers.
But what are the four main uses and the advantages of vermicompost?
1. Can be used as fertilizer
Vermicompost is a good and natural fertilizer for plants and is also recommended for farmers to use. They reduce the need for chemical fertilizers, which is both beneficial to our health as well as the environment. You can rest assure that the fertilizer being used is 100% organic and without any harmful chemicals.
One of the many advantages of vermicomposting is being able to produce a natural fertilizer that can be instantly used for your garden soil and plants. Plants that have been supplemented with worm poop can certainly increase yield and helps to protect from pests.
Sure, chemical fertilizers can give the same effect, but it doesn’t control the plant’s health when too much has been applied. Other than that, too much chemical application can also destroy the structure of the soil.
2. Encourages healthy growth of crops
When vermicompost has been mixed in with soil, studies have shown that germination is a bit faster, plant growth is stronger, and crops yield more. Vermicompost mix ensures that the plant has stronger roots as compared to those of plants growing in soils using artificial fertilizers.
One of the pros of using this organic fertilizer is that it doesn’t damage the roots of the plants. Unlike the excessive usage of chemical fertilizers, you can be assured that over-fertilizing with this natural product will never put your plants in danger.
3. Helps to enrich your soil
Extensive studies have shown that adding vermicompost to your soil helps improve it’s physical structure, enriches the soil with micro-organisms, increased of microbial activity by more than 20 times than other forms of compost, and improves your soil’s water holding capacity which leads to savings on water since you do not have to do it as often.
One of the greatest benefits of vermicomposting is producing worm castings that can immediately help the soil retain moisture and nutrients. So when you’ve got healthy soil, you’ll be able to grow healthy and strong plants.
Healthy soil that is capable of absorbing more essential elements will be able to offer these to the plants readily and easily. Other than that, it also helps with its drainage and porosity, and its defense against different types of erosion.
4. Can be sold for profit
When you cultivate worms through vermicomposting, you can make money from it. You can naturally multiply the number of worms and then sell them on. You can also sell on the worm castings that they produce, for other people to use in their soil or for growing plants.
Of course, this type of strategy of making money will only be highly profitable if you do it on a larger scale. Not much of money will be made if you only have a small singular worm farm.
There is a lot of beneficial bacteria and microbes in vermicompost, and because of its unique composition, the microorganisms are there to help fight off plant diseases and to also help ward off annoying pests.
Vermicomposting is an interesting hobby to get into, and with the ever-increasing interest in improving the environment, I feel that it will get more popular in the future.
Vermicompost has many uses and advantages, such as being used as 100% organic fertilizer, encourage the growth of healthy crops, help to enrich the soil, and can be cultivated for profit. It reduces the need for buying chemicals and contains many microorganisms that are beneficial to our soil and plants.