Vermicomposting enthusiasts agree overall on what to feed their worms. In this article, we add our subjective twist as to the top five best foods to make your worms thrive. You want to keep your worms happy and healthy so they can produce lots of natural, organic fertilizer. People who cultivate lawns, shrubs, and flowers love the “black gold” fertilizer from vermicomposting.
Before we list the top five best foods, we need to list the WORST foods.
The Seven Worst Things to Feed Your Worms:
- The 3 S’s: Anything that contains spices, salt, and sauces
- Meat, bone, and gristle
- Dairy and that includes milk, cream, butter, yogurt and cheese
- Acidic foods which include pineapple, limes, oranges, and lemons plus their rinds, and tomatoes
- Any food with preservatives and chemicals such as fast food
- Non-foods, i.e., plastic, sawdust, windowed envelopes, and other rubbish
We suggest that you toss these items immediately into the trash receptacle and do NOT feed them to your worms.
Some Reminders About Worm Food
Here are a few simple reminders before we venture into the Top Five Best Foods:
Under ideal conditions, a worm can eat its own body weight from food scraps each day. If you have two pounds of worms in your bin, you can feed up to two pounds of waste a day. However, a good rule of thumb is to feed your worms after they have started to work on the last feeding. This might be every other day, or every three days. In this way, food scraps will be gone with no overpowering odors or pests. Read more details about feeding the worms.
Last but not least, the smaller the pieces of food, the faster your worms will compost it. Cut the food up using a knife, food chopper, or food processor.
Top Five Best Foods for Your Worms
#1 Leafy Green Vegetables
Worms love lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, to name a few of these vegetables. Be sure to cut these scraps down into small pieces or even food process them. Remember to thoroughly rinse off all hot spices, sauces, oils, dressings, and cheeses because they can harm your vermicomposting project.
#2 Melons/Squash and Pumpkins
Cantaloupe and honeydew are the top choices. However, due to the high water content in honeydew and likewise in watermelon, we suggest limited portions. Melon rinds are also yummy for your worms.
Broccoli is great for your worms. Just cut it down to smaller pieces or food process it and your worms will be happy. A note of caution: Along with bananas and their peels and cabbage family vegetables, broccoli smells bad for indoor composting.
The good part about apples is that everything is digestible: peel, core, and the flesh of the apple itself.
#5 SURPRISE: Pasta
Pasta is not addressed so much, but still a good food for your worms within certain parameters. The pasta needs to be clean of sauces, butter, cheeses, and oils!
Note: Worms can eat most fruits and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, used tea leaves, etc. The list above highlights some of our favorites.
Check out our other articles for more information on what to feed your worms. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm is the top American supplier of Red Composting Worms, the Kings of Composting. We also have European Night Crawlers, wonderful for composting, great for aeration and superb as fishing bait. We also have an array of vermicomposting bins and supplies to meet your every need.