A worm farm full of red wigglers is an excellent way to compost food scraps, left overs, garden waste, and leaves. Feeding red worms is pretty easy, but there are some basic and important things to remember in order to keep your worm farm healthy. In this section we will cover what you should and should not be feeding your worms. This list is not all-inclusive but it will give you some ideas.

index

Do Feed:

  • Vegetable Waste (carrots, lettuce, beans, peas, limited amounts of potatoes, leaf vegetables)
  • Fruit Waste – Non Citrus (Apples, grapes, bananas, melon, peaches, pumpkin)
  • Egg shells – In moderation and best when crushed up using coffee grinder or food processor-large pieces last a long time
  • Coffee Grounds (Filters too) – An excellent worm food, but again in moderation
  • Cardboard – Yes, shredded cardboard doubles as food and bedding
  • Tree leaves – Yes in moderation, stick to common species, avoid exotic tree leaves
  • Garden Waste – Bean stalks, pea vines, beet tops, pumpkins
  • starches Yes in moderations (Pasta, potatoes, rice, grains)
  • Aged animal manure – Yes, it’s best to stick with horse or rabbit manure in the beginning
  • Commercial worm food, (Worm Chow etc…) Just start sparingly

Do Not Feed:

  • Citrus fruit
  • Meat products
  • Dairy waste
  • Cooking oil or grease
  • Human waste
  • Pet waste
  • worm_zpse5fe18a0When you feed worms always try to add equal portions of greens and browns!

    Greens: Vegetable and fruit scraps, bread, pasta, coffee grounds and filters, teabags, dead plant matter from houseplants

    Browns: Paper, junk mail, paper egg cartons, cardboard, dry leaves

    The Difference between BROWNS and GREENS as compost ingredients

    This is a popular question among many first composters or organic gardeners. Regardless of the name, “Browns” and “Greens” are not differences in physical color. It is more technical than that. These terms are functions of the C:N (Carbon to Nitrogen) ratios in all once living creatures, plant or animal.

    Browns and greens are nicknames for different types of organic matter to use in composting.
    Browns are high in carbon or carbohydrates, thus they are organic carbon sources. These foods supply the energy that most soil organisms need to survive. Carbons also help absorb the offensive odors and capture and help prevent most of the organic nitrogen in the piles from escaping by evaporation or leaching. Carbons are also essential in the faster formation of humus from the organic matter in a composting process.

    Greens are high in nitrogen or protein, thus organic nitrogen sources. These products help the composting microherd to grow, breed, and multiply fast in the piles, thus creating extreme internal temperatures in hot compost piles.

    A simple test to determine if your organic matter is a “green” or a “brown”, is to wet it, and wait a few days. If it stinks, it is definitely a green. If not, it’s a brown.