Assessment of Fertiliser Quality and Plant Growth Dynamics of Vermicomposts obtained from Oligochaete Action on different Organic Wastes
Publication Date : 20/07/2016
The present investigation attempts to analyse the physico-chemical and bacteriological characteristics of the vermicomposts obtained as a result of the action of epigeic earthworm species Eudrilus eugeniae on organic substrates viz., leaf litter and kitchen waste. Further, assessment of quality of the two vermicompost samples with regard to plant growth promoting efficiency was carried out. In the present study, pH of leaf litter (7.91) and kitchen waste (7.64) reached to near neutrality. Electrical conductivity was high in kitchen waste (2.23 dSm-1) than leaf litter (2.01 dSm-1) vermicompost. The ash content was high in kitchen waste (74.6%) than leaf litter (52.4%) vermicompost. Organic carbon content was high in leaf litter (23.62%) than kitchen waste (10.56%) vermicompost. Total nitrogen was high in kitchen waste (0.88%) than leaf litter (0.81 %) sample. The C/N value was high in leaf litter (26.84) than kitchen waste (13.03) sample. Total phosphorus was high in leaf litter (0.16%) than the kitchen waste (0.10%) vermicompost. Total potassium was found to be high in leaf litter (0.11%) than kitchen waste (0.07%) vermicompost. The total number of bacteria present in the vermicompost samples was 3.6 x 108 CFU/gm and 4.2 x 108 for leaf litter and kitchen waste, respectively. Ca content was maximum and Na content was minimum in both samples. Although the values of some micronutrients were high in the kitchen waste sample, the values of organic carbon, NPK and the C/N ratio suggest that the leaf litter sample was qualitatively better than kitchen waste sample. Plant growth promoting ability of the vermicomposts was conducted using Zea maize and Trigonella foenum-graecum. Although the samples show inconsistency in terms of nutrient availability and microbial activity, outcome of plant growth analysis suggests that the vermicompost obtained from leaf litter substrate was superior to kitchen waste substrate in its efficiency as a biofertiliser. The findings can have potential application in the fields of agriculture, horticulture and floriculture.
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