Feeding Compost Worms (What, How, and When)

It’s time for another compost worm post. If you missed the previous posts, you can catch up on the series with the below links.

14 Reasons to Have Compost Worms
DIY Compost Worm Bin
How to Acquire Compost Worms
Feeding Compost Worms (What, How, and When)


WHAT to Feed Compost Worms

Compost worms’ diet is similar to a vegan diet. It’s the best comparison I can think of, but there are a few important exceptions to the worms’ diet:

  1. No processed food (there may be a few acceptable ones, but, in general, no processed food);
  2. No onions (I’ve read conflicting info on this one), but green onions are okay;
  3. No oils (olive oil, sesame oil, butter [but vegans don’t eat that anyway], etc.);
  4. Citrus and other highly acidic food in only small quantities; and
  5. All the food should, ideally, be spoiled.

Those are the biggies.

There are also some “extras” that compost worms eat, but vegans don’t eat:

[Join me over at The Prairie Homestead for the rest of this post.]

This was shared on the following blog hops or link-ups:
Encourage One Another link-up
Homestead Barn Hop
Simple Lives Thursday

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11 comments to Feeding Compost Worms (What, How, and When)

  • Hi, there, Holly!
    I’ve missed you and am glad you are back! I hope you are doing well these days.

    We have red worms, too, at our home and are very happy with all the work they do for our soil. I do use some onions, but throw the hard brown skins in the trash (not the disposal :(

    Blessings to you and your family!

  • Great post and pics about food types for worm bins! I have found my worms like cardboard a lot more than regular paper or even newspaper. I tear it up into small pieces, put it in a bucket of rainwater, and then place on top of the bin- it keeps it moist and the worms eat it faster than the newspaper I used to use.

    • Holly

      Thanks, Jill!

      I welcome the tips, too! I use some cardboard, but I guess I should use a lot more. I use mostly my junk mail, but I’ll have to increase my cardboard ratio with my next bin.

  • jennie

    About cardboard, I know my worms really like corrugated cardboard (they seem to enjoy crawling in the little channels) and the sprayed cardboard like egg cartons seems to work well too.

  • Jody

    can I feed my worms honey?

    • Holly

      Hmmm … that’s a GREAT question. I can’t say that I know the answer to it.

      My initial thought is no. My concern is whether the little guys could push honey through their intestines. I don’t think they can, but that’s just based on my little brain’s thought process.

      Wow! You guys come up with some great doosies. I love it. :)

  • david beck

    Hi just getting started my worms come next week. Reading all I can via internet on raising these. Shredded up some corncobs for food. Could I use apple pulp from an orchard a by product of cider making?

  • Heather T.

    What about the how and when? I only saw the what (which was still helpful).

    • Holly

      That’s a great question. I buried the food in the bedding. How often you feed them will depend on how many worms you have. Basically, just keep an eye on how quickly they’re eating what you give them. As they multiply they’ll go through the same amount of food faster; however, they also self-manage their population growth based on the worm bin size, food supply, and general health of the worm bin.

      Be sure to check out the worm composting series: http://yourgardeningfriend.com/worm-composting/

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