A FREE monthly subscription to The Squirm Firm Newsletter will keep you on top of all the insider information you need to succeed in worm composting. Continuing with the ‘ Red Worms Love…’ theme today, I thought it would be fun to post this picture I took fairly recently and just came across this morning in one of my worm picture folders.
Their diet consists mostly of vegetables and fruits, no meat, dairy or anything greasy. Red wigglers enjoy a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
Pizza crust (without the cheese) Pasta (no butter sauce) Rice (brown or white, long or short grain) Bread (whole wheat, sourdough or whatever you like) Pancakes (or waffles without the whipped butter or cream) Of course, red wigglers also enjoy materials not in a healthy human diet.
So, in order to help you out we have decided to offer this infographic in physical form. You want to make sure you are feeding your worms a nutritious diet, but you don’t have the time to go research online.
If you found this infographic useful, and would like more great worm composting tips, tricks, and how-to’s, sign up for our newsletter using the bar at the top of this page. Select CategoryAquaponics (1)Benefits of Composting (41)chickens (1)Compost (200)Fishing (15)General (32)Heirloom Seeds (2)Indoor Composters (133)Live Worms (146)Meal worms (23)Night Crawlers (29)Outdoor Composters (127)Pet Food (1)rabbits (5) Red Worms (170)Supplies (13)UP University (5)Uncategorized (5)Vermicomposting (67)Verminous (3)Work Factory (5)Worm Kits (13)Worm Tea (4) When you’re breeding earthworms, it’s not enough that you provide them a nice and comfortable bin to thrive in.
You’ll just have to feed them decomposing organic wastes, that have been cut or chopped into smaller pieces already; and are then buried under the ground (to sway away from unwanted visits from pests and to also avoid odor build-ups). Only feed them something that has been days old already; and have been produced by vegetable eating animals, like rabbits for example (manure from pets are not as healthy especially for worm consumption).
The acid content will definitely aid in lowering the pH level of the worm bin. Raw eggshells with some egg white’s still stuck inside (it’s best to clean these before using them for your worms, as these may carry diseases that can harm your compost pals).
Make it a point to take in these considerations on what to feed red wigglers, before you put in any kind of organic waste inside their bin. We add them by the bucket to our garden beds in the spring, and we use them to make compost tea rather than buy commercially available worm casting products.
Given the right conditions red wiggler composting worms can double their population in just 90 days. So a small initial investment in 1,000 redwigglerscan lead to a pretty sizeable population of worms in no time at all.
But for most of us who raise red wigglers including me this rate of population growth can ’t be sustained for very long. These include insufficient food supply, overcrowding, too little or too much moisture, inadequate air flow, too much light.
But if you want your population to grow you’ll want to provide them with food equivalent to 50% of their body weight or more per day. But what if you have six pounds of composting worms or 8 or 12, and you want to keep the population growing and producing more castings for your garden.
And that’s when we turn to using free resources in the community to supplement a red wigglers food supply. Also, more recently we started collecting spent brewery grains from a local microbrewery.
By adding these free resources we now have more than enough food to keep our red wiggler population growing. Our household and property don’t produce nearly that much food scraps and shredded paper or leaves per week.
So the additional free resources we collect make all the difference. We typically add food to each worm bin about once per week.
Bananas, pumpkin skins, eggshells, avocados, coffee grounds and leaves, I weigh out 3.5 pounds of food scraps, coffee grounds and leaves and add them to the bin.
Other than some leaves and coffee grounds you can see that the worms have done a pretty good job of eating most of the food from their last feeding. If on the other hand I found that a lot of food was accumulating I know that I was overdoing it and would reduce the feedings.
Over the course of the week I’ll make sure that each bin receives a similar feeding. I’ll run out of space to house the worms, or it will just take too much time.
So by taking advantage of these valuable free resources we have more than enough food to keep our red wiggler population growing for the time being, and we do our small part to put these materials to good use in our garden and keep them out of landfills. 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. Non-citrus fruit work best, such as watermelon rind, strawberry tops, old blueberries, etc.
SPOIL ‘EM ROTTEN: If you really want to make brats out of your worms, chop up their food. Your bin may be completed in record time by making it easier for the worms to break down the scraps.
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.
Click on the image to learn more about the e-book or add the .PDF version to your shopping cart now. We make our own fertilizers and have info on this site and more comprehensive e-book with tons of great recipes.
Vermicomposting with worms is increasingly popular with people who want to reduce trash, produce free fertilizer, and save resources. Therefore, vermicomposting fans have a vested interest in keeping their Red Worms or European Night Crawlers healthy.
Worms can break down a wide variety of organic materials, with a few exceptions. In the wild, worms will wiggle to a suitable food source.
The worm bin has the walls and sides, the drainage holes, the lid, and the bedding. Nearly everyone gets fats from vegetable oil, sauces, butter or margarine.
On exposure to air, oils oxidize and smell terrible! Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt should never go into a worm bin.
Therefore, dispose of meat, bones, gristle, and dairy products in the trash. Food doused with oily sauces or butter may not be salvageable.
But a steady diet of acidic matter, or an entire bag of orange peels, could alter the pH of your worm bin. Common acidic foods are the flesh and peels of oranges, lemons, and limes; pineapples; raw onions; and tomatoes.
Many households rely on processed foods for convenience and a long shelf life. On the other hand, processed foods often have added sugar, salt, and hydrogenated oils.
The additives make the food take longer to break down on the shelf. Worms will break down the food faster when it’s easy to digest.
Limit the number of processed foods you add to the worm bin. Eating more whole foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, is good for you and your worms.
Soap, plastic toys, teeth, pet droppings (except rabbits), most food packaging, thick white paper napkins and coated paper plates, and general household trash are very bad ideas. We also offer finished compost, made by our worms at our farm in rural Pennsylvania.