Vermicomposting technology: an efficient biological processing of obnoxious weed water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)
The present work was carried out during the year 2009–2011 to study the physicochemical and microbial analysis of both vermicompost and vermiwash produced from two treatments of water hyacinth: T1: 100% water hyacinth + 5% soil, T2: water hyacinth + cow dung (50% + 50%) by using earthworm species, Eudrilus eugeniae for a period of 90 days. The nutrient values along with microbial count of vermicompost and vermiwash were determined and compared with those of decomposed treatments. The results indicated increased values of N, P, K, electrical conductivity and moisture while decrease in C:N, C, and pH was seen, while microbial counts like bacteria, fungi, actinomycete in vermicompost and vermiwash treatments as compared to their respective decomposed treatments enhanced. This indicates that the water hyacinth solid waste can be converted into useful energy rich biofertiliser in ecofriendly and economically viable method.
Keywords: aquatic weeds, biofertiliser, vermiwash, Eudrilus eugeniae, bacteria, fungi, actinomycete, vermicomposting technology, biological processing, water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes, soil, cow dung, solid waste