So what do worms eat? This post is the 3rd in a series on setting up a cheap vermicomposting bin. See my post on what worms like to eat for more details on how to feed worms. In this post I would like to get a few ideas across.
- Always bury the kitchen scraps to eliminate fruit flies and odors.
- Since you have a small bin, feed the worms what they like.
- Start small and increase food amount gradually.
- Make sure they finish what you give them first before adding more.
- Don’t expect them to eat all your scraps unless you have a very large or several bins.
- Make sure there are no bad odors in the worm bin, this would indicate that it is becoming anaerobic and needs more oxygen.
A big reason why people fail with worm bins is that they put in too much food. That is what I did with my first bin and it was a miserable failure. Start small and build up the amount gradually. Don’t worry they will not starve. They will actually eat the newspaper. Here is a list of things that I find my worms really like:
- Butternut squash and pumpkin
- Banana peels
- Cantaloupe and watermelon rinds
- Cucumber and zucchini peelings
- Rabbit manure
- Apple cores
- Spoiled peaches
- Small amount of crushed eggshells
- Shredded leaves that have no chemicals on them
- Small amount of soil for grit for their gizzard.
At some point you will stop adding paper and let the worms finish processing the bedding and kitchen scraps to produce finished vermicompost. The whole process will take 3-4 months. Check your worm bin every few days. Use plastic gloves and dig down into the bedding to see how things are. If it is a little dry spritz it with a spray bottle. Do the worms look healthy? Are they moving around? Is there any bad odor? If there is a bad smell it means there is not enough oxygen. Moving everything around gives it more oxygen. If it is too moist add shredded newspaper. When you are finished make sure the food scraps are still buried. If they have finished the food give them some more.
See an interesting youtube video on Boakshi and red composting worms!
If you are starting small like this the worms are not going to eat so much. This is really just a way to get started. Learn the process and see if it works for you. If it works you can buy a bigger bin and more worms later. Maybe your worms will multiply so well that you won’t have to buy any additional. I started with 1 lb of worms and have given worms away twice and now they fill 3 bins. So they do have a way of multiplying very quickly. Click below to order worms: