While both vermicompost and regular compost have their own merits and limitations, it is a general belief that vermicompost is better than regular compost. Some of these merits and limitations are listed below:
- The enzymatic response is greater in vermicompost compared to regular compost.
- Vermicomposting has a higher rate of microbial activity compared to regular compost.
- Size of vermicompost is less than 20 microns.
- Compared to regular compost, vermicompost contains more nutrients. It is concentrated with high levels of phosphorous and nitrogen.
- Compost Tea is formed when the liquid beneath vermicompost bin is diluted with water. This provides a nutrient rich drink for established plants. Regular composting does not form any such liquid.
Other differences between vermicompost and regular composts are listed as follows:
Differences in Chemical and Physical Properties
|Total Nutrients (g Kg-1)|
|Total C / Total N||11.7||11.1||12.4|
|WSC (g Kg-1||3||1.9||2.5|
|WSC / Total N||0.35||0.17||0.29|
|Fecal Coliform (MPN g (g Kg-1)||28||80||80|
MV = Municipal Vermicompost
BV = Backyard Vermicompost
EC = Electrical Conductivity
WSC = Water Soluble Carbon
MPN = Most Probable Number
Differences in Biological and Biochemical Properties
|BAA - Protease|
(μmol PNP g-1h-1)
|Microbial Biomass C|
(μg C g-1)
* Data for tables taken from : Composting vs Vermicomposting: A Comparison of End Product Quality [Composting Science & Utilization, (2005), Vol. 13, No.1, 6-13]