To manage leaf in Sunder Nursery, what started in 2015 as a pilot Vermicomposting unit with one single bed with 1 tonne of leaf litter and 10 kgs earthworms, now converts 40 tonnes of leaf litter per year into rich organic vermicompost. The compost is not only used in the horticulture works at Sunder Nursery Park, but also in the parks of Nizamuddin Basti. Every weekend visitors can also purchase the Sunder Nursery compost at the Farmers’ Market held here.
The collection of leaf litter for composting is carried out from pathways, lawns, area near water bodies, road sides, picnic area, sides of peripheral road and areas near monuments to ensure that no leaf litter enters water bodies and drainage system, and pathways and monument areas remain clean. Leaf litter is not collected from zones designated for promoting biodiversity.
Leaf litter is collected from different parts of Sunder Nursery, and the collected leaf litter is then brought to a storing point near the composting unit. The Vermicomposting Beds are made in shaded area to avoid direct sunlight from falling on it.
Alternative layering of leaves and cow dung slurry is undertaken and given the form of a bed. There are 10 of vermicomposting beds in Sunder Nursery. The beds are constantly watered and team ensures that each layer of leaves has enough moisture.
After this, a 6-inch-deep trench is made in middle along the length of the bed. Now, a minimum 10 Kgs of earthworms are released in the trench dug in bed. The beds are again covered and watered. These are is watered daily during summers and on alternate days during winters and loosened every fortnight
After 45-60 days, compost is formed and sieved from the bed. Earthworms are separated from compost during sieving. During this period, the earthworms have multiplied and now there will be enough worms for 2 beds at the end of 2 months. These earthworms are collected and used for making next bed.
Approximately 25 tons of vermicompost is harvested every year from this unit. The harvested compost is used for plants in Sunder Nursery and parks in Nizamuddin Basti.
The vermicomposting unit started in 2015 with a single bed, 1 tonne of leaf litter and 10 kg earthworms. The unit now converts 40 tonnes of leaf litter per year into rich organic vermicompost.
The weekend Farmers’ Market at Sunder Nursery hosts a stall of the Sunder Nursery Vermicomposting Unit.