Earthworms Diet

Its surprising how many emails I still get asking “what do earthworms eat’. You can find a list of  tasty earthworms treats here, but I must admit it is more of a list for earthworms in their natural environment than your household earthworm farm.

Complete Worm Farm

Now the worm farm is ready.

So to help everyone who has taken the step towards improving our environment, and are now recycling their household waste with earthworms, this is aimed more to you.

Keeping up a steady food supply for your worm farm is not as difficult as most people think though it does take some time to keep reminding yourself, “oh I could give that to the worms”. I often find myself preparing dinner then realising after I have put some peelings in the bin I should give them to the earthworms, so back to the bin and fish them out.

What To Feed Earthworms

The statement that earthworms will eat most things that have lived, should be a good starting point as to what to feed your earthworms. In all honestly it is easier to remember what not to feed the earthworms rather than what you can feed them.

Food you should avoid feeding earthworms:

  • Things that are high in acid such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, grains, and legumes..
  •  You would be surprised as to what foods are high in acid so I have found a detailed list here you can check out.

What My Earthworms Like

  • Potato and sweet potato peelings: are something I find we usually have a lot of, but I do find that they take a fair bit of time for the earthworms to break down, so usually heavy scraps like these I will purée first so they are not sitting in the tray for to long.
  • Apple peelings and any whole apples that have gone off. (chopped up).
  • Mushroom skin and stalks.
  • Cauliflower/ broccoli stalks and leaves.
  • Leaves and stalks off strawberries.
  • Pumpkin peelings, again blend first as these take awhile to break down.
  • Carrots, zucchini, cabbage, lettuce.
  • I have started to bring shredded paper home from work and often use this as a cover over what ever food is placed in the worm farm and find it really helps with the break down process as it seems to draw more worms to the top of the tray. Plus over time the earthworms will break down the paper, and it acts as a bedding for them. You can also use shredded cardboard and newspaper as well.
  • I have both a cat and a dog so any hair gathered from brushing goes straight in and even when you are cleaning all the hair out of your own brush it can go in as well.
When I set up my worm farm I actually bought a worm mat to place over the top of the top tray to keep the farm dark and help retain moisture. If they are unavailable in your area an old piece of carpet or heshen sack would suffice.
So as you can see earthworms have a very diverse diet and there is not much they will not eat. Often if you are unsure of a particular food type just place a small portion in the tray and if it is gone in a few days you know they will eat it, but if it sits there and starts to go off and smell , remove it and add it to your list of foods they do not like.
There will be times when you will need to balance out the Ph levels in the worm farm, and this can be done with adding things like crushed oyster shells or something similar. But in all honesty the easiest way is with a conditioner which you can find here…..Worm Conditioner  which is
  • Specially blended and selected natural minerals for Vermicomposting
  • Used to neutralize acidity and balance pH levels in worm bins
  • Used to Help worms digest larger quantities of food waste quicker
Having a earthworms  is a simple and inexpensive way to help the  environment and recycle your household waste to later use in your garden. It’s educational for kids and helps get them on the right track for recycling in later life. I have now started to use the soil from my worm farms in the potting mix for my cooking herbs and have found they grow considerably better and have a stronger flavour in the cooking.
Also remember the more diverse your scraps are that you feed the earthworms, the better the quality of vermicasts you will get back.
When earthworms eat it is a simple process unlike most other animals. This is a video I found pretty much sums up how straight forward the process really is.