We’ve tried a bunch of foods in our bins at home and have a nice list for you to keep things simple.
- Vegetable scraps: apple cores, peels, carrot tops and wilted lettuce or trimmings. Any vegetable that’s not spicy or really gaseous will make them happy.
- Non-citrus fruit work best, such as watermelon rind, strawberry tops, old blueberries, etc. Drastically limit citrus or eliminate all together to avoid fruit flies and to keep the bin clean smelling and easy to work with.
- Used tea. We like to rip up the bags before dropping in but it’s not necessary to break them up.
- Coffee grounds and filters. Don’t add too much coffee all at once. Mix with other foods. Test your worms’ preferences.
- Dried leaves. If you want to add more bedding, leaves are awesome!
- Used napkins and paper towels are ok as long as they are not greasy.
- Shredded cardboard and paper bags are easy to find and recycle. Shred up the paper bags to make the bedding fluffy. I like to moisten the bedding before adding to the bin. I dip in a big bowl of water or spray.
- CRUSHED egg shells. We’ve been reading that reproduction increases when worms live among egg shells! It helps add a little grit to the bin. Otherwise, use a small amount of garden dirt that has not been treated with chemicals. A small handful of eggshells or dirt is enough.
- Citrus peels and fruit – to avoid fruit flies.
- Starchy foods like pasta, bread and rice – too much for worms to handle with all that bedding already in there.It will take longer for the bin to compost.
- Spicy peppers
- Oily foods
- Animal feces
- FINICKY EATERS: If after a week you notice a food hasn’t been touched, they may not be too fond of it. When testing a food, position it where you can easy find it later.
- EASY TO PLEASE: If they are happy with the food, temperature and moisture level, they will stay put in the bin even with the top off! The more circulation the better. But do not place the bin under a bright light.
- SPOIL ‘EM ROTTEN: If you really want to make brats out of your worms, chop up their food. This isn’t necessary but it speeds things up. Your bin may be completed in record time by making it easier for the worms to break down the scraps. We use a food processor, bring the bowl directly into the garage and scoop out the ground food with a rubber spatula. You can also store chopped up food in the frig until ready to feed if you end up with extra.
- PUT THAT FOOD TO BED: Because we keep our worms inside our garage, it’s important to us that the bin not call fruit flies, mice or get over-run with ants. Always cover the food with bedding. Folks that dump food on top increase the chance of fruit flies or yukky smells.The best method is to make layers of food and bedding with a big layer of bedding on top.
I made a video that shows you my favorite method for collecting worm compost:
Also take a look at our new guide, “How To Compost with Worms”. It’s in the eBookstore and there may be a coupon code available for a discount. Check it out if you’re interested in a “cheat sheet” that you can use forever to keep you on the right track.
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