Understanding the growth and reproductive efficiency of vermicomposting worms in various substrates is highly essential for effective utilization of earthworms in sustainable waste management system. The growth and reproductive performance of Eisenia fetida in rose, hypericum and carnation flower wastes was evaluated in this microcosm study. Determination of cocoon production rate, hatching success, number of hatchling, biomass and growth in all the three flower waste type were conducted in cylindrical plastic containers. The experiment were designed under three treatment: T1 (rose leftover + cow dung), T2 (hypericum leftover + cow dung) and T3 (carnation leftover + cow dung). Cocoon production started early (within 2 weeks of clitellated worm introduction) in T1 and T2, while it took 4 weeks in T3. The highest total number of cocoon was attained in T2 (178.3 ± 2.8), whereas the minimum cocoon number (109 ± 2.6) was recorded in T3. Significant difference was recorded between the cocoon production performance of E. fetida in all the three varieties of flower leftovers (P< 0.05). The highest total number of hatchlings (52 ± 0.88) was recorded in T1, while the least (30.33 ± 0.6) was observed in T3. Maximum weight increase (0.86 ± 0.006 g/worm) of E. fetida was observed in T1. The overall result of this study showed that better hatching success of cocoons and number of hatchling/cocoon were obtained by experimental species incubated in rose leftover.
Key words: Carnation, Eisenia fetida, Hypericum, Rose, vermicompost.
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