The Best Worm Food for Vermicomposting Worms

A Healthy Garden Needs the Best Worm Food

Jim Simmen/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

The success of your garden depends on its health. And a healthy garden requires worms. Feeding them well can keep the worms--and your soil--healthy. What's the best worm food for them?

It's a misconception that red wigglers will eat just about any food scraps you choose to give to them. Like anyone, they seem to have their preferences, too. There are certain foods that they prefer over others. If you use a worm bin, or are composting or growing a vegetable garden, it's good to know what types of worm foods your worms will like.

Remember, worms can eat up to half their weight in food each day if they are in a fully established vermicomposter.

The Best Worm Foods for Your Soil

Here are a few of their favorites:

  • Fruit peelings
  • Melon rinds
  • Carrots
  • Coffee grounds
  • Teabags
  • Bread, unsweetened cereal, and pasta (plain)
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce

Here's something interesting to take note of: Most of these foods are either moist, soft, or low in acidity.

They say that when you feed your worms, you should mix equal parts of brown items and green food. You can tell the greens from the above list. Paper, egg cartons, cardboard, and dry leaves are good tips of browns to add to your bin.

You can grind up food for them, which makes it even easier for them to eat. A food processor is ideal so you can blend food scraps.

The Worst Foods for Worms

Just as there are good foods for worms, there are also foods that worms are not so crazy about. Try not to add a lot of these items to your worm bin:

  • Onions and onion skins
  • Potatoes and potato peels
  • Citrus fruits and their rinds
  • Animal feces

Of course, you should also never add meats, fats or dairy foods to your worm bin or garden. Those can include preservatives that can attract insects.

Another tip to find the best worm food is to pay attention to what your worms eat--and what foods they refuse to eat.

Check and see what food is gone after a few days so you can get an idea of what they like. If too much food is left over after a few days, the worms may not be liking it and you can try to find a better worm food.

If you're using a bin, make sure you cover the food with bedding to help avoid flies, other critters or pungent smells. This is key if your bin is indoors.

By keeping these tips in mind, you'll have a healthy, happy worm bin and better soil for a better garden.