Growth of African Nightcrawlers (Eudrilus eugeniae) on Indigenous Substrates and Chemical Characteristics of their Vermicomposts

Loreli Z. Legada, Guillermo L. Legada, Jr., Guillermo L. Legada, Jr., Eduardo U. Navarra, Eduardo U. Navarra, Rolando B. Ricardo, Jr, Rolando B. Ricardo, Jr


The growth of African Nightcrawlers (Eudrilus eugeniae) on various indigenous substrates, NPK and pH of their vermicast, and their relationship with worm growth were explored. Worms were grown on vermibeds in Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) made up of different substrates with three treatments such as 1:3 kakawate (Gliricidia
sepium):ricestraw, 1:3 carabao manure:grass, 1:3 hagonoy (Chromolaena odorata):sawdust and three replications. Weights of worms were taken after two and four weeks of culture.
At four weeks of culture, vermicomposts were collected and sent for laboratory analysis.
Data gathered were subjected to ANOVA (F-test) and their mean differences to DMRT. Pearson-Moment correlation was used to determine relationships between variables. Worms grew best in 1:3 kakawate:ricestraw substrate both in two weeks (F-test=5% level) and four weeks of culture. Vermicomposts produced from this study yielded a nitrogen content of greater than 4.0% from the organic matter in the sample. Substrates using 1:3 manure:grass and 1:3 kakawate:ricestraw produced vermicomposts with the highest amount of phosphorus. Treatment means did not show significant difference in terms of potassium. The pH of vermicompost from 1:3 kakawate:ricestraw and 1:3 hagonoy:sawdust were within the range favorable for plant growth. A strong positive correlation was obtained from the increase in weight of worms after four weeks of culture and the phosphorus content of the vermicomposts. This implies that substrates which gave a higher growth of worms also gave the highest phosphorus content in vermicompost.


vermicast, indigenous substrates, vermiculture, worms/earthworms, organic fertilizer

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