Biohumus is the result of the activity of worms. Organic residues are processed in a relatively short time without residue.
About red Californian worms conversations began in the late eighties of the last century.
The first batches were delivered and quickly dispersed to the laboratories. In parallel, many gardeners were able to purchase for themselves a dozen or so worms for themselves. Researchers studied their activities with great interest. I will share some observations.
Underground inhabitants are worms
When conversations about underground inhabitants begin, many people remember earthworms. On fertilized beds, they can be observed when digging up the soil. Especially in spring, these animals are in the upper layers. They search for food, make numerous moves.
On the body of the worms are visible yellow seal rings - this is the future offspring. They are bisexual creatures, each is male and female at the same time (hermaphrodite). As a result of joint mating, each individual brings progeny. Appears from 5..10 to 25 ... 30 new worms.
About once every 60 ... 70 days, a new offspring appears. With abundant nutrition, the young growth quickly grows and by 40 ... 50 days becomes an adult.
The mass of worms in a couple of months can increase by almost 20 ... 25 times. With a constant supply of feed (plant residues and manure), the growth rate increases faster.
Comparing Californian and ordinary earthworms, all researchers note a higher fecundity among Californians. They bring more young stock, so work efficiency is higher.
Domestic users have found an analogue of overseas representatives - it is a dung worm. Outwardly, it is difficult to distinguish it from the American individual. Also reddish rings on the surface of the body, similar and voracity. Inoculants during reproduction bring on average 15 ... 20 young worms. According to this indicator are close to Californians.
Domestic representatives survive at low temperatures. With the onset of frosts, they move to the lower soil layers (up to 2.0 ... 2.5 m), where they are waiting for warming. Hibernate in a state of anabiosis: do not consume food and are in a sleepy state.
Californians do not know how to hide in the depths. Therefore, they often freeze, and in the spring no more than 5 ... 7% of the livestock leaving in the winter is restored. For wintering, you need to create special conditions: create winter houses or move them to a room where, at a temperature of 10 ... 12 ° C, the intestinal cavities will wait for spring abundance.
The survival rate of domestic worms is up to 75 ... 80%. When the soil warms up to 5 ... 7 ° С, they start moving upwards. At 7 ... 8 ° С, they begin to work actively in the upper layers of the soil.
Attention! The following was noticed: when a red Californian worm settles in the habitats of a rain representative during the year, all receive external signs of a Californian.
However, they adopt the habits of domestic intestinal cavities. They are accustomed to wintering in the lower horizons.
How to optimize the production of vermicompost
To receive biohumus as soon as possible, it is necessary to create certain conditions:
- the abundance of food for processing makes it possible to concentrate a large number of worms on a limited area,
- maintaining humidity At the onset of the dry period, the animals hide, climbing to the depth. There they can reduce mobility in anticipation of new moisture,
- temperature. The greatest activity is shown at a temperature of 12 ... 20 ° C.
In order for underground inhabitants to efficiently process organic waste, it is necessary to limit their habitat space. On the territory of the plots in the shaded places put large boxes, install barrels, place a large plastic container.
It is considered that for the normal operation of Californian worms, it is necessary to create a volume of up to 1 m³ of space.
However, in experiments it has been established: the minimum volume is 50 ... 70 l. Already a similar territory they are quite at ease.
The main thing is the thickness of the layer, it must be at least 15 ... 18 cm. The worms move, not moving strictly along the horizon. They build their moves, dropping and rising, crawling forward.
Some users say that they specifically create side gaps in the chervyatniki. They claim that through them the ready biohumus wakes up. In fact, it is difficult to agree with such statements. There is a loss of valuable substance. Collecting fallen particles near the box is inconvenient.
For active work, it is desirable to make a box of wood (preferably using oak boards).
Recommended sizes: L · B · H = 1.0 ... 1.3 · 0.8 ... 1.0 · 0.8 ... 1.2 m (L - length, B - width, H - height). It is not necessary to do the bottom, if necessary worms can go deep. Outside a limited area, they rarely creep out. The main food is received inside the box, so they try to be in it.
It is advisable to install a cover. In bad weather, it will protect the inhabitants.
Worm breeding technology
It has already been noted that ordinary rain and California worms show similar results. A slight advantage of Californians is observed only in the warm period, when the temperature rises to + 25 ... 27 ° С, such heat activates their activity.
Domestic animals at this temperature slightly reduce activity (optimum + 20 ... 24 ° С).
Some gardeners are attempting to create profitable individual enterprises, growing Californians. Therefore, organizing chervyatniki indoors.
In this case, plastic boxes are used for work, in which fruits and vegetables are imported into the distribution network.
Settling worms and feeding
In the prepared chervyatniki lay about a hundred individuals. Additionally fill 2 ... 3 buckets of garden soil. In this land, worms will be able to hide if they experience inconvenience.
The next step is to add food. Here they use:
- grass mown on lawns. It is desirable to have chopped green mass. For hundreds of worms you need a little: about 3 ... 4 kg. Grass sprinkled with earth, if necessary, watered
- trimming cabbage leaves, beet leaves will be excellent food to get started. Contained in the green mass: sulfur, serenum, manganese, - have a stimulating effect on sexual activity in intestinal cavities,
- Cattle dung mixed with hay or straw is the most favorite food of Californian worms. Within two weeks, a hundred individuals will turn 5 ... 6 kg of this mass into biohumus, which will actually contain up to 9 ... 10% of humus,
- soil animals are happy to recycle manure from sheep and goats. It should be laid in a mixture with herbs. Then the pellets do not dry out. Being in a moist state, they are eaten by worms with great hunting. From 5 ... 6 kg of such manure in 12 ... 16 days the gardener will receive about 1.5 ... 1.7 kg of real biohumus with a high content of nitrogen and phosphorus,
- rabbit manure is an excellent raw material for working with worms. For better use, it is recommended that the pellets be dusted with a layer of 3 ... 5 cm. Recycling can be observed, the earth moves - this is the worms that are actively eating rabbit waste. On such food, the worms become fat, so they need to add egg shells (you can pour up to 20 g of gypsum or chalk). Alkaline additive will prevent acidification of the soil, somewhat neutralizes its composition. After processing 5 ... 6 kg of rabbit manure, the grower will receive about 2.0 ... 2.4 kg of biohumus. It can be used immediately in the garden and in the garden,
- chicken litter will have to be used carefully. Before use, it is diluted with straw, grass and hay. 1 kg of litter will require up to 3 kg of coarse fiber. Be sure to soak in water, and only then make the chervyatnik. This feed will be processed by animals longer. At 5 ... 6 kg of weight will take up to 20 ... 25 days.
Checking hungry worms or not is quite simple. A sheet of paper, the best newspaper sheet is put and lightly sprinkled.
In hungry worms in a day the whole leaf will turn into a mesh. Have fed - on the sheet will be a few holes. Paper is a food for worms, but not the most delicious. They begin to eat paper only if there is no other food.
Do I need to register a business?
If you run a home business, registering it will require additional cash injections. Not sure if it will work? Then first it is better to invest in finding customers and advertising. You will always have time to register a business.
At first, you are unlikely to manage wholesale sales of finished products.
But in order to further develop cooperation with large agricultural enterprises, registration is a must! Wholesale sale of biohumus will be possible only if the relevant documentation for the product is available. If you open a large manufacturing enterprise, issue it in due form.
How to start a business?
The production of vermicompost at home and on an industrial scale begins with the search for a suitable area. In the first case, you can even use the shed on your own country plot - here you can find both the main and the packing “shops”. But a manufacturing enterprise that produces large quantities of biohumus will require a more serious approach, since in order to place the equipment and provide storage facilities, you need a shop with an area of at least 80 m2.
The total area occupied by the enterprise will depend on the scale of production. Approximate calculations are as follows: from 1 m2 of area you can annually receive up to 300 kg of biohumus.
Obtaining biohumus should be conducted under certain microclimatic conditions. And this will entail additional investments - the premises should be equipped with ventilation, all communications should be brought here. You will spend at least 100,000 rubles on the re-equipment of a small private enterprise.
Biohumus production is carried out with the "participation" of worms. - they will have to constantly buy. Red Californian worms are more commonly used. Already at the beginning of your business, find a reliable supplier. The price of 1000 worms varies between 2,000 and 5,000 rubles. This amount of "living creatures" is enough to settle 2 m2 of land. Calculations make, given the scale of the planned enterprise.
In addition to the need to buy worms for biohumus, it is necessary to make a certain stock of manure and food waste. The cost of raw materials ranges from 1000-2000 rubles / ton. Every year you will need to buy about 15-30 tons of manure.
Taking into account the specifics of this business line, the production of biohumus by worms is most beneficial for launching to private entrepreneurs who already operate in the field of agriculture - they keep pigs or cattle. In this case, you do not have to spend money on regular purchases of raw materials, and biohumus will become additional products for sale.
The idea of business is especially good in that it is not difficult for a novice to master the technology for producing biohumus. If there is such an opportunity, be sure to visit the current vermi farm to see firsthand everything.
In general, the technology of biohumus production looks like this:
- Substrate preparation. A mixture of cattle manure, poultry manure and food waste is placed in boxes or special composters. To improve the quality of the nutrient substrate, a mixture of lime and peat is added to it - in the proportion of 20 kg per 1 ton of substrate.
- Bookmark the worms. As a rule, 700-1500 worms are laid on 1 m2 of substrate. At the same time they need to be evenly distributed over the entire surface of the laid mixture. The boxes are covered with a dark non-woven material that does not let the air through - the worms do not like bright light.
The production technology of biohumus in a continuous cycle implies constant care of the vermi-farm. What tasks need to perform?
- "Beds" with worms periodically need to loosen. Do this carefully so as not to destroy the individuals.
- Worms react badly to a decrease in humidity, and therefore, as necessary, water the nutrient substrate. Use for these purposes, settled water with a temperature of 20-24 ° C.
- Occasionally add nutrient substrate, otherwise, the worms will have nothing to eat.
The collection of vermicompost begins when the density of worms in the substrate begins to exceed the permissible limits. First, they are no longer fed for a couple of days. Then they put the nutrient mixture on top so that the worms crawl over here. After a couple of days, this top layer must be carefully removed. This procedure is repeated 3 times. The rest of the earth is biohumus. It is collected, packed and sent to storage.
Depending on what equipment you purchase, you can start the production of liquid biohumus or granulated products. The second way of doing business will significantly save when starting a business - the cost of the finished product will be lower. In addition, there is always a demand for "dry" raw materials.
What equipment is needed to start a business?
The business plan for the production of biohumus in Russia necessarily includes the cost of purchasing equipment. This is a significant item of expenditure, but even a businessman who is going to do business at home cannot do without mechanizing the process.
To maintain a vermi farm at home, you will need the following set of equipment and equipment:
- Wooden or plastic boxes for backing up the nutrient substrate.
- Mechanical sieve.
- Rakes, shovels, choppers.
This is the minimum set of equipment for which you spend no more than 150,000 rubles. But in order to automate the process, you need to purchase a packaging machine - its cost is from 1,000,000 rubles. At first, in order to avoid spending, you can lay out ready-made fertilizer by packages manually, and solder the container with a special machine - its cost does not exceed 5,000 rubles.
Biohumus from worms
Currently, the fact that the fertile layer on our planet appeared due to the activities of earthworms, no one in doubt. Even Aristotle called these invertebrates "the intestines of the earth."
During the day, the worm consumes a quantity of food equal to the weight of its body - about 1 g. After digestion, it releases 60% biohumus, which contains all the nutrients necessary for plants, and in a well-balanced form.
Humus produced by worms is the best organic fertilizer ever known on Earth.
The humus contains nitrogen, phosphorus pentoxide, potassium oxide, calcium, magnesium, iron, and other trace elements necessary for plants.
And he has a high water capacity and is able to hold up to 70% of water.
To start its own production of soil humus requires quite a bit of space. Using only 30 x 60 cm of useful area for worms, it is possible to produce such amount of fertilizer that is sufficient to meet the annual demand of all plants growing in the garden plot. And if there is an opportunity to place the worms on 1 m 2, then the gardener for the year will receive more than 1 ton of excellent fertilizer.
For the production of vermicompost it is possible to use local red manure worms. Of course, they are somewhat inferior to the red Californian "brothers" in fertility, but they are more cold-resistant and can feed at lower temperatures of the nutrient substrate.
Features lifestyle worms. Those who seriously decide to breed worms, it is important to consider the following main features of their lifestyle:
• the worm lives in aerobic (airborne) conditions,
• requires 70-80% of a moist, pulp-like medium that has been pre-fermented with self-heating and decomposition for feeding,
• habitat acidity should be neutral (pH 6
• the optimum temperature of the habitat should be: for food - 20-25 ° С, for reproduction - 12-17 ° С,
• at temperatures above + 32 ° C, worms stop feeding, and above + 35 ° C - die,
• cellulose-decomposing bacteria live in the intestines of dung-worms, so they are very fond of wet paper, straw, etc.,
• the body of an adult sexually mature worm has a length of 5-8 cm, diameter 3-5 mm, weight 0.5-1.5 g,
• the surface of his body is wet, covered with mucus. In a dry environment, worms die quickly, but because of skin breathing and cannot live long in water,
• ultraviolet rays for worms are destructive, so during the day they go to a depth of 25 cm, and at night they rise to the surface, a mature worm lives 3-4 years (according to some sources - up to 15 years),
• Under optimal conditions of humidity, nutrition, and temperature, the worms population doubles approximately every 40 days, while the most intensively manure worms reproduce in spring and autumn.
The choice of the place and method of production of vermicompost
It is recommended to produce biohumus in the dacha or backyard in tanks, in heaps and in pits. In any way there is a "but."
In the heaps, it is more difficult to maintain the uniform moisture of the substrate and they “creep away”, and on hot days they dry up around the edges. В ямах затруднено прогревание субстрата, особенно в первые месяцы весенне-летнего периода, а значит, активное питание и размножение червей наступает позже.
При выборе варианта емкости необходимо учитывать следующие требования:
• в ней не должен накапливаться избыток влаги, а воздух, напротив, — легко поступать в питательный субстрат,
• емкость должна быть удобной для работы при закладке и добавлении субстрата, периодическом рыхлении содержимого, при добавлении червей и их отделении от готового биогумуса.
The box (box without bottom) of a rectangular shape satisfies all these requirements. Its size can be calculated based on the amount of substrate to be processed in one season.
In the box gradually put 170 kg of nutrient substrate. Since it loosens and is wetted when the substrate is laid down to about 50% moisture, it is enough to weigh a 10-liter bucket with a loose substrate.
In a box with dimensions of 1.2 x 0.6 x 0.6 m, from April to September approximately 200 kg of biohum are obtained. The best material for the manufacture of boxes - flat slate. 4 walls are cut out of it, they are quite tough, they do not rot and are easily reinforced by driving in pegs at the corners of the box. It can be assembled from wooden shields, but in order to prevent them from rotting, they are covered with waterproof materials (roofing material, plastic wrap, old linoleum, etc.) on the inside of the box.
To protect against moles (penetrating into the box, they instantly destroy the entire population of worms) under the box they lay a metal grid with small cells, and put a piece of old linoleum, a thick film or a piece of flat slate on top.
Since the worms are very afraid of the wind, the box is placed in a place protected from it (the long side of the wind). In addition, orient it so that at noon it does not overheat by the sun's rays (preferably in the shade of any buildings or plants).
It is very important to ensure the timely removal of excess water from the box. If the soil is clay, an elevation is made from the soil at the site where the box is placed with a slight bias to one side. On sandy soil, the box is installed on level ground (or even in a small depression).
Laying out the nutrient substrate and settling it with worms. In April, when the snow melts in places and exposes a pile of rotted manure or compost, they start laying the first batch of nutrient substrate. Carefully remove the upper part of the thawed substrate, transfer it to the duct with a layer of 20-30 cm and moisten it to 70_80% moisture.
Before wetting, hydrated lime powder (or chalk) is applied to the substrate at the rate of 5-10 g per 1 kg of mass. After moistening, it is allowed to stand for 10 days, and then additionally moistened with warm water, slightly dug over and colonized with worms.
They can be typed in the upper layer of thawed dung heaps. Populate the worms preferably in warm weather, at sunset. During the night, they gradually burrow into the depths of the substrate. Worms are laid out in small groups on the surface of the substrate, covered with a small amount of soil in which they have been dug up, and covered with a sheet of roofing material on top. It is cut to the size of the box and pierced in several places (for ventilation).
In the spring, roofing material helps to better warm the substrate during the day and to preserve heat at night. In the hot summer you need to worry about protecting the worms from overheating. To do this, replace the roofing material with a sheet of foam rubber (thickness up to 2 cm). It provides protection from moisture evaporation, and through it is poured nutrient soil. You can cover the box chopped straw or burlap.
Worms laid on the substrate, gradually bury deep into the ground and for about 5 days will master it. After that, the nutrient substrate is watered, gradually bringing the humidity to 70-80%.
Useful warnings. You can not use animal manure that has not undergone self-heating and fermentation (with the exception of rabbit), since worms can die from an excess of protein in it. For the same reason, it is impossible to enclose an excessive amount of food waste in the chervyatnik.
In addition, manure that has lain for more than 2 years after the completion of fermentation cannot be used - at this stage of maturation, protein, sugars and vitamins are almost completely absent in it.
❧ In no case should the litter of chickens, geese, turkeys and other poultry be used: due to its strong acidity.
Worms leave the nutrient soil and crawl out of the box for 2 reasons:
1. When the nutrient soil becomes insufficient. In this case, at first, mature individuals crawl out, since they naturally have an instinct for preserving offspring.
2. Before natural disasters. Worms feel the advance of impending flooding of nutrient soil, so they crawl out. Such their behavior helps to predict the impending big bad weather.
Autumn troubles with worms. In the autumn, after the completion of the production of biohumus, proceed to the separation from it of the main mass of worms. To do this, pick up 2 drawers of this size so that they can simultaneously fit inside the box on the surface of biohumus.
The bottom of the boxes are removed, and instead they stretch the synthetic mesh. As such, suitable, for example, mesh bags from under the vegetables.
❧ 10-15 days before the separation begins, the worms are not fed.
Then in boxes with a mesh bottom stack a fresh batch of nutrient substrate, evenly distributing its layer over the entire area of the box (15 cm thick). Boxes are installed inside the box and plentifully shed water. Cover the box with ruberoid boxes, and from above, from direct sunlight, - boards or shields.
For 5-6 days, half the worms will crawl out of the box into boxes of fresh food. They are removed and dumped into a pre-prepared and moistened pile of rotted compost or manure in which they can spend the winter. In the boxes again impose a fresh substrate and set in the box.
After 5-6 days in the boxes will be another 30% of worms. They are also transferred to compost or manure, and the third portion of the substrate is applied to the boxes. This time the boxes are kept on biohumus for 10 days, during which time another 15% of worms will leave the box.
The rest (about 5%) can be left in the biohumus.
You can do it differently: biohumus with worms is put in large plastic bags and put them in the cellar (if any), or in a prepared pit 20 cm deep more than the height of the largest bag. Cover the pit from above with planks and cover it with dry grass, foliage or straw.
The pile when filling the pit should be about 0.5 m larger than the pit on each side. On top of the foliage and grass poured a layer of compost or rotted manure with a height of 1 m.
Both in the first and in the second cases, the worms will safely winter and in spring they will “start” again.
The required amount of biohumus, which is needed for growing seedlings, is sorted out, separating the worms, put in bags and taken home.