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Foliar Sprays are a part of plant growing practices. 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.

VERMIWASH  Vermiwash - Design ERF, Chennai


Vermiwash units can be set up either in barrels or in buckets or even in small earthen pots. It is the principle that is important. The procedure explained here is for setting up of a 250 litre barrel.

An empty barrel with one side open is taken. On the other side, a hole is made to accommodate the vertical limb of a 'T' jointed tube in a way that about half to one inch of the tube projects into the barrel. To one end of the horizontal limb is attached a tap. The other end is kept closed. This serves as an emergency opening to clean the 'T' jointed tube if it gets clogged. 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. 5 litres of water (the volume of water taken in this container is one fiftieth of the size of the main container) is poured into this container and allowed to gradually sprinkle on the barrel overnight. 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. 

Vermiwash is diluted with water (10%) before spraying. This has been found to be very effective on several plants. If need be vermiwash may be mixed with cow's urine and diluted (1 litre of vermiwash, 1 litre of cow's urine and 8 litres of water) and sprayed on plants to function as an effecting foliar spray and pesticide.


pH 7.48 ± 0.03
Electro conductivity dS/m 0.25 ± 0.03
Organic Carbon % 0.008 ± 0.001
Total Kjeldhal Nitrogen % 0.01±0.005
Available Phosphate % 1.69 ± 0.05
Potassium (ppm) 25 ± 2
Sodium (ppm) 8 ± 1
Calcium (ppm) 3 ± 1
Copper (ppm) 0.01 ± 0.001
Ferrous (ppm) 0.06 ± 0.001
Magnesium (ppm) 158.44 ± 23.42
Manganese (ppm) 0.58 ± 0.040
Zinc (ppm) 0.02 ± 0.001
Total Heterotrophs (CFU/ml) 1.79 x 103
Nitrosomonas (CFU/ml) 1.01 x 103
Nitrobacter (CFU/ml) 1.12 x 103
Total Fungi (CFU/ml) 1.46 x 103


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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.