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Vermicomposting using local varieties and how to collect native earthworms.

Vermicomposting using local varieties of earthworms

About two thousand five hundred species of earthworms have been identified in the world of which more than five hundred species of earthworms have been identified in India. Diversity of earthworm species varies with different types of soils and hence choosing a local or native species of earthworm for the local soil and for vermicomposting is an important step. There is no need to import earthworms from elsewhere. Local species of earthworms that are generally used in India are Perionyx excavatus and Lampito mauritii. These earthworms can be cultured or used in composting applying simple procedures either in pits, crates, tanks, concrete rings or any containers.

How to collect native earthworms?

  • Identify worm-inhabited soils marked by visible earthworm castings on the soil surface.
  • Dissolve 500gm jaggery (native sugar) and 500gm fresh cattle dung in 2 litres of water and sprinkle on an area 1m x 1m surface soil.
  • Cover with straw lumps and cover with an old gunny bag.
  • Keep sprinkling water for about 20 to 30 days.
  • A combination of epigeic and anecic native worms will aggregate in the spot that could be collected and used.
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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.