Worms in Compost Bin

The main goal of the worms in compost bin or organic farming systems will be to heal the ailing soil and bring back the soldiers, the servants of nature, and the billions of microorganisms in the protection of crops. We must always keep in mind the health of the soil. The farmer’s job will be to think of the soil, the soil will think of the farmer. In the chemical farming system, we have taken away all the sustainability of grain production from the soil. All the responsibilities of the new system must be returned to the soil. The farmer must be a fearless servant of the soil. In our current agricultural system, grain production is an artificial system similar to raising a sick mother’s child by a midwife. In the present agricultural system, the grain is the child of the farmer, not the soil. Under the new system, the grain will be the child of the soil. So if we can make the soil healthy in the new agricultural system, the earth will give birth to healthy crops. The previous day’s nutritious crops will be created – in the highly chemical farming system that is lost today.

The amount of organic matter in the soil of our country is rapidly declining due to various reasons. As a result, on the one hand, soil erosion, water holding capacity, the acid-base balance is being lost, on the other hand, the number of beneficial microorganisms in the soil is decreasing. As a result, the full application of chemical fertilizers is not getting practical benefits. The main source of organic manure in our country is dung. But only a small part of it is used for fuel. The dung manure made from the rest of the dung is mostly rotten and of poor quality. Also, the price of what is available in the market as organic fertilizer is much higher and not high quality in all cases. However, if worms in compost bins are made from different types of farm varieties and organic waste and applied to the land, the cost of cultivation is reduced, soil health is maintained and crop yields are increased.

Wooden compost bin
Photo: Wooden compost bin, Credit: Instagram @ bravopablobravo

What is earthworm manure?

Vermicompost is the conversion of parts of farm and household waste, unused vegetables, fruits, peels, etc. into earthworm-friendly organic manure.

Why use earthworm manure instead of ordinary dung manure as organic manure?

Earthworm manure has more water-soluble nutrients than any conventional compost manure that plants can easily absorb from the soil. In addition, earthworm manure contains more nutrients such as calcium and many mico-nutrients (manganese, copper, iron, zinc) than ordinary cow dung manure.

Comparison of worms in compost bin manure and dung manure

DescriptionEarthworm manureDung manure
Nitrogen (%)1.0-1.600.40-0.75
Phosphorus (%)0.50-5.040.17-0.30
Potash (%)0.40-1.500.20-0.55
Calcium (%)0.440.91
Magnesium (%)0.150.19
Iron (ppm)175.20146.50
Manganese (ppm)96.5169.00
Zinc (ppm)24.4314.50
Copper (ppm)4.892.40
Carbon : Nitrogen15.5031.28
It takes time to create3 months12 months
Prevention of insects and diseasesCreates resistanceDoes not create resistance
Table: Comparison of worms in compost bin manure and dung manure

Importance of vermicompost or earthworm manure

Worms in compost bin
Photo: Worms in compost bin, Credit: Instagram @ ahouseofgreen
  • Instead of chemical fertilizers, this earthworm fertilizer frees us from toxic chemicals along with economic development.
  • Easy to make and easy to use.
  • It does no harm to the beneficial germs present in the soil but helps them to grow.
  • Increases the water holding capacity of the soil and helps to get rid of excess water.
  • It contains enzymes, hormones, vitamins, etc. which makes the plant grow better; Increases immunity.
  • Helps to maintain soil acidity and alkalinity (pH).
  • As the taste, quality and excellence of the crop increase, the price of the crop increases and the profit of the farmer increases. There is no fear of environmental pollution as a result of application of earthworm manure.
  • Soil mixed with earthworm manure has twice as much calcium and magnesium, about 11 times more potassium and 8 times more beneficial bacteria.
  • As a result of the application of this fertilizer, the food of the plant in the soil becomes readily available to the living plants.
  • Conventional composting methods sometimes require the decomposition of perishables to be well mixed, which is costly, but in the case of fertilizers such as: aeration process, the decomposition of perishables is done by worms which helps to reduce the cost.
  • This fertilizer improves the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the soil.
  • Income can be earned by selling extra earthworms.
  • Extra worms can also be used as fish and chicken feed.

What kind of earthworms are used to make fertilizer?

There are about 3000 types of earthworms in the world. But most species cannot make earthworm manure or are not suitable for making earthworm manure. Some of the species suitable for making vermicompost are:

  • Eisenia foetida
  • Lumbricus rubellus
  • Eudrilus eugeniae
  • Pheretima elongata
  • Perionyx excavatus
  • Amyanthes diffrigens

We use Eisenia foetida species of earthworm. This species breeds rapidly and produces earthworm manure in a very short time.

Two of the following species are suitable in our country:

  • Eisenia foetida
  • Eudrilus eugeniae

Eisenia foetida: It came from Germany. This species of earthworm is widely used all over the world. It is sold in the market under different names like red earthworm, patal earthworm, tiger earthworm, purple earthworm etc. Living earthworms come in a variety of colors, such as red, copper, purple, and black. These earthworms can survive in different temperatures and humidity, they grow fast. The average lifespan is 70 days.

Eudrilus eugeniae: It is mainly an equatorial West African earthworm. The cocoon is delivered in 47 days. Can live one to three years.

Quality comparison between three species of earthworms

Eisenia foetidaEudrilus eugeniaePerionyx excavatus
Origin: Germany.Origin: Equatorial West Africa.Origin: Australia or New Zealand.
Widely used all over the world.Known as the Night Crawler in America.Found in various places in India.
The city’s waste can be turned into fertilizer.Waste material can turn into fertilizer too.Waste material can turn into fertilizer too.
It is sold in the market as Red Worm, Purple Worm, Bagha Worm, Branding Worm.Living earthworms are red, purple and tan.The upper part of the back is purple to reddish brown and the lower part is light brown.
It is reddish brown when alive.Length: 32 to 140 millimeters.Length: 23 to 120 millimeters.
Growth is fast.Growth is fast.Growth is fast.
Earthworms are capable of converting about 7 mg of organic matter per dayFood intake, digestion and fertilizer production from it is faster than other species (12 mg / worm).
Lifespan: 70 days.Lifespan: Lives one to three years.Lifespan: 46 days.
Capable of reproduction: 50 to 55 days.Capable of reproduction: 40 days.Capable of reproduction: 21-22 days.
Weight: 1.5 grams.Weight: 43 grams.Weight: 3.5 grams.
Table: Quality comparison between three species of earthworms

From which waste can earthworm manure be made?

In general, earthworm manure can be made from any type of home and farm waste and unused organic waste. However, the quality of the fertilizer depends on the quality of the organic matter.

Table of useful materials for making earthworm manure and its quality

Organic wasteUtility
Dhanche leaves, leaves of Subabul tree, leaves of bean family tree, unused part of pulses, sajone leaves, water hyacinth, topapana, silkworm’s main food swallow tree young tips and leaves, and mulberry tree leaves etc.Good fit
Abandoned straw, Azolla (a type of nitrogen-rich leaf) after mushroom cultivationGood fit
Duck, chicken, cows, goats, discarded fruits and vegetables in the kitchen, eggshells, jute leaves, various types of grass, tree leaves, banana leaves, etc.Medium useful
Paddy, wheat, corn straw, sugarcane stalks, cotton stems etc.Less useful
Wood powder, coconut husk, rice husk etc.Less useful
Garlic, onion, ginger, chilli etc. are unused parts of spice crops, strong smelling or toxic chemicals, parthenium, fennel, neem etc.Harmful to use
Table: Useful materials for making earthworm manure and its quality

Initial care of organic matters

Early care is needed to clean up the decomposable material for worms in compost bin, and the steps that can be taken are:

  • Properly clean the waste such as plastic, stone, glass, terracotta pieces etc. need to be removed. If there is any chemical substance, the earthworm will die.
  • You have to break the big garbage.
  • Separate waste should be layered 1 foot and well sunburned.
  • Rotten leaves: It can be easily cleaned so that it can be cut into small pieces after sunlight and by hitting the pile repeatedly with a stick. Plants or tree bark and remnants should be cut into small pieces.
  • Insect-borne waste is often present. They disrupt the food process of earthworms. In that case the waste can be cut into small pieces and sprayed with 4% neem aqueous solution. In order to make an aqueous solution of neem, the seeds should be dried first, then the hard cover should be removed and the seeds should be left in a cloth overnight and the next day they should be soaked in half a liter of water which can be used as a pesticide.

How do earthworms make organic fertilizer?

  • The organic matter that earthworms eat breaks down in the stomach and is then digested in the intestines with the help of various enzymes.
  • An average of 1 kg earthworm can produce about 3 to 5 kg of earthworm manure per day and 20 to 25 kg of earthworm manure per week.
  • Earthworms meet their body’s needs with 10% of the food they consume and leave the remaining 90% as waste material. This waste material is earthworm manure.

How to make earthworm manure at low cost?

Live earthworm inside compost bin
Photo: Live earthworm inside compost bin, Credit: Instagram @ craigscompost
  • In the case of first time making, it is better to choose small places like earthenware pots, cement pots or wooden pots etc. After knowing everything well, it can be done in large size in a large chamber basin.
  • First you have to choose a shady high place (where water does not stand during the rainy season) that is well ventilated.
  • The container should be kept in a tented place so that direct sunlight and rain water do not enter the container. The pot should be placed one to one and a half feet above the ground on the deck and its floor must be slightly sloping.
  • The bottom of the pot should be leaked so that water does not stand in the pot. If 500 earthworms are left in an earthen pot, it is possible to get 25 to 30 kg of earthworm manure from 100 kg of waste in 60 to 90 days.

Making earthworm manure by making puddles on the soil (chamber method)

To reduce the cost, the worms compost bin can be made by pouring cement. This method has many advantages. Brick and cement tanks can be made. A versatile drain is provided for water discharge. The basin size is usually 6 feet by 3 feet by 1.5 feet. The basin can be made of clay or bamboo fence at a very low cost.

  • First, three inches of bricks, small stones, broken stones, etc. should be placed at the bottom of the earthworm chamber.
  • Coarse sand should be spread evenly over it. It is better not to give raw waste directly into the worms in the compost bin.
  • If green leaves, green grass etc. are used, it should be soaked in 10% dung water in a separate place, applied with a handful of urea, decomposed for 15 to 20 days and used in earthworm tubs.
  • 2 inches of garbage should be fed to the earthworm bed every 2 days after 7 days of leaving the worms in compost bin. It is better not to give too much garbage at once.
  • If the feces of cows, goats, chickens, silkworms, etc. are used as earthworm food, it should be decomposed in another hole for about a month and given layer by layer in the worm compost bin.
  • Every day after feeding, the top straw and sack should be removed and sprinkled with water little by little. Care should be taken to ensure that excess water does not stand on the bottom of the compost bin, and that earthworm food does not become completely dry due to lack of water.

How to collect earthworm manure from the compost bin?

Worm manure produced from compost bin
Photo: Worm manure produced from compost bin, Credit: Instagram @ ecofriendlyfact
  • If it is seen that the organic black color round grains after removing the sack, then it must be understood that the fertilizer has been made.
  • Then watering should be stopped for three days, so that the worms will move towards the bottom of the worm chamber. Then the manure should be collected from the top and stored in one place so that the earthworms can come out from the cocoons present in the manure within 7-8 days. Doing so will not reduce the number of earthworms.
  • Then sieve with a fine perforated sieve. The worms and earthworm eggs that will be on the sieve will have to be released again to the worm chamber.

The importance of manure washing water

In addition to earthworm manure, the manure washing water that is made in the last stage of water digestion in this method can be kept in iron drums or in plastic or cement containers, etc., and then diluted five times with water and used as fertilizer or as a pesticide in the soil.

Worm and cocoon transport

  • Take a clean plastic container. There must be many holes in the lid. Clay pots can also be used instead of plastic containers. Then the temperature will be right and the fear of earthworms dying will be less.
  • Take earthworm food in that container.
  • Put live earthworms in that container or clay pot.
  • 1.5 grams of food is required for each earthworm. Earthworms need 0.5 square inches of space per worm. 200 to 500 earthworms can be kept in one liter plastic container for 24 hours.

Cocoon wrapping and transport

  • Take a clean plastic container. Many holes will have to be made in the lid.
  • Take cocoon food in the container. 0.5 grams of food per cocoon is required.

Some special precautions

  • Red ants are one of the main enemies of earthworms. To protect it, white chalk-like markings should be made on all sides of the compost bin.
  • No chemical fertilizer can be applied in the earworm tank.
  • There should always be 60 to 65 percent humidity in the worm manure bin.
  • To protect the earthworm from chickens and birds, the tank should be covered with iron netting or mosquito net.
  • Wood or bamboo sheds should be painted with tar / burnt mobil or diesel to prevent weevils or termites.
  • Harmful to earthworms are pungent spices (ginger, turmeric, onion, garlic, etc.), toxic chemicals, parthenium, lemon, raw neem, etc.
  • When making earthworm manure, the worm will be damaged if it cannot be pierced with a hard stick, bamboo or anything hard.
  • When making earthworm manure, do not pierce the tank with any hard stick, bamboo or anything hard, then the earthworm will be damaged.

Where and how much to use earthworm manure?

Worm manure should be spread and plowed before the first cultivation before planting crops like dung manure. In general, earthworm manure should be given at the rate of 3 to 1 instead of where dung manure is used. Earthworm manure should be spread evenly on the farm and mixed with the soil. Earthworms should never be fertilized in the hot sun.

The amount of earthworm fertilizer used according to the variety of crops

Crop namesDoses
Sugarcane5 tons/ha
Corpus cotton3.75 tons/ha
Rice, Wheat, Buckwheat, Corn2.50 tons/ha
Peanuts, Arhar, Maskalai, Mug2.50 tons/ha
Potatoes, Tomatoes, Eggplants, Carrots, Cauliflower, Onions, Garlic1.87 tons/ha
Rose, Jasmine, Marigold etc.3.75 tons/ha
Chilli, Ginger, Turmeric3.75 tons/ha
Grape, Pineapple, Banana3.75-5.0 tons/ha
Coconut, Mango4 – 5 kg per plant (less than five years) 8 – 10 kg per plant (over five years)
Lemon, Orange, Musumbi, Pomegranate3 – 4 kg per plant (less than five years) 6 – 8 kg per plant (over five years)
Plants in tub250 grams per bowl
Table: The amount of earthworm fertilizer used according to the variety of crops

Frequently asked questions

How did worms get in my compost bin?

If you start decomposing organic matter in your compost bin, you will notice the presence of earthworms. These earthworms do not come directly from the outside soil into your compost bin. The organic ingredients you put in your compost bin for digestion, such as banana peel, vegetable peel, fruit peel, or fresh dung, contained dormant worm eggs, which later turned from larvae to full-grown earthworms.

Is it good to have worms in your compost?

In a word, earthworms can produce gold from dung. The earthworm digests fresh dung in the form of digestible matter and excretes organic substances which are called cast. The amount of microorganisms in this cast is several thousand times higher than that of ordinary dung. This cast increases the fertility of the soil due to the presence of various enzyme-producing bacteria. Earthworms have been found to add 6% more nitrogen and 15 to 30% phosphorus to soil than that of ordinary compost. In addition to calcium, magnesium plants have been able to absorb more. The carbon and nitrogen ratio of earthworm cast organic matter is 20: 1 which easily motivates the plant to take food. If there are earthworms inside the compost, it increases the airflow inside the compost. Earthworm influences the aerobic bacteria to work effectively within the compost. Therefore, it is very good to have worms in the compost bin.

Last words

We have reached the very last stage of the discussion. The main topic of our discussion today was the presence of earthworms in the compost bin. In this long term discussion, we will try to give a detailed idea of ​​what is earthworm manure, what is the difference between earthworm manure and common manure, importance of earthworm manure, what kind of earthworm you will bring in compost bin as fertilizer, characteristics of earthworm used in compost bin and preparation method. We firmly believe that we have been able to put an end to all your questions about worms in compost bin. If you still have any questions, please let us know. We will do our best to answer all your questions.