Vermiwash is a liquid extract obtained from vermicomposting beds and is used as an organic fertilizer for crop plants. Vermiwash is a collection of excretory products and mucus secretions of earthworms along with micronutrients from the soil organic molecules. These are transported to the leaf, shoots and other parts of plants in the natural ecosystem. Vermiwash, if collected accurately, is a clear and transparent, pale yellow colored fluid. Vermiwash is a rich source of vitamins, hormones, macronutrients, and micronutrients when applied to plants to help in effective growth.
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Worm worked soils have burrows formed by the earthworms. Bacteria richly inhabit these burrows, also called as the drilospheres. Water passing through these passages washes the nutrients from these burrows to the roots to be absorbed by the plants. This principle is applied in the preparation of vermiwash.
Vermiwash is a very good foliar spray. It is the principle that is important. The procedure explained here is for setting up of a litre barrel. An empty barrel with one side open is taken. To one end of the horizontal limb is attached a tap. The other end is kept closed. The entire unit is set up on a short pedestal made of few bricks to facilitate easy collection of vermiwash.
Keeping the tap open, a 25 cm layer of broken bricks or pebbles is placed. A 25 cm layer of coarse sand then follows the layer of bricks. Water is then made to flow through these layers to enable the setting up of the basic filter unit.
On top of this layer is placed a 30 to 45 cm layer of loamy soil. It is moistened and into this are introduced about 50 numbers each of the surface epigeic and sub-surface anecic earthworms. Cattle dung pats and hay is placed on top of the soil layer and gently moistened. The tap is kept open for the next 15 days. Water is added every day to keep the unit moist. On the 16th day, the tap is closed and on top of the unit a metal container or mud pot perforated at the base as a sprinkler is suspended.
This water percolates through the compost, the burrows of the earthworms and gets collected at the base. The tap of the unit is opened the next day morning and the vermiwash is collected. The tap is then closed and the suspended pot is refilled with 5 litres of water that evening to be collected again the following morning.
Dung pats and hay may be replaced periodically based on need. The entire set up may be emptied and reset between 10 and 12 months of use. This has been found to be very effective on several plants.
Overview[ edit ] Vermicomposting has gained popularity in both industrial and domestic settings because, as compared with conventional composting, it provides a way to treat organic wastes more quickly. In manure composting, it also generates products that have lower salinity levels. Red wigglers are recommended by most vermicomposting experts, as they have some of the best appetites and breed very quickly. Users refer to European nightcrawlers by a variety of other names, including dendrobaenas, dendras, Dutch nightcrawlers, and Belgian nightcrawlers.
Vermiwash Preparation Process, Benefits, Cost