Compost vs Vermicompost
Vermicompost is the soil produced by composting with worms. It is a mixture of tail end worm excretions (called worm castings), mucous secretions from their body walls, and the partially composted remains of high lignin materials and others that do not completely break down when composting.
Vermicomposting is Nature’s perfect process of making perfect fertilizer. Composting without the use of earthworms produces compost that does not even begin to compare to vermicompost. It’s not even close. One is perfect. The other is okay. In order to produce anything even close to Nature’s perfect fertilizer, worms have to start getting involved before the composting process goes from being bacterial-dominated to fungal-dominated.
The reason earthworms need to be involved in order for this perfect process to produce perfect fertilizer is because they are the workers Nature put in charge of the process. They select certain microorganisms to thrive, while eliminating others. They produce a vast array of natural plant growth hormones, enzymes, and many other complicated substances that serve plants and animals in ways we are just beginning to understand.
Minerals in the surrounding soil are made available sooner by vermicompost than by conventional compost.
Nitrogen-fixing bacteria are more plentiful in vermicompost than conventional compost.
Heavy metals present in vermicomposted materials become unavailable to plants.
Earthworms reduce pathogen levels to zero during vermicomposting.
Vermicompost provides much higher protection against pathogens in the surrounding soil than the protection provided by conventional compost.
Vermicompost does a much better job than conventional compost of improving soil’s water retention, aeration, drainage and stability.
This article could go on and on. These are just a few of the advantages of vermicomposting over conventional composting, and more are continually being discovered.
There is nothing wrong with conventional composting, but when you add worms to the process, you make soil that is far superior to any compost that can be produced without their help.