Feeding a worm farm is easy. Once you understand what your worms can eat, maintaining the farm is simple.
Your worm farm will thrive on kitchen scraps, your worms prefer soft foods and as you get used to them you will notice that they develop a preference for certain foods.
Foods the worms will eat include :
Kitchen greens, vegetable scrapings from plates.
Potato and other veg peels.
All Fruit: Feeding the worms a lot of fruit will increase the acidity of the farm due to the high sugar content. You can add agricultural lime into the farm to balance the Ph. Be careful that the fruit has no insecticides on it as this can kill a farm outright.
Egg shells: These should be ground up before adding them to the farm. Egg shells are great for balancing an acidic farm.
Paper products and cardboard: These should be shredded and soaked in water first.
Hair and nail clippings.
Leaves: Try not to put too many hard wooden bits into your farm and do not add leaves that have been sprayed with pesticides.
Grain and grain products: These should be ground up and added in moderation. Be careful not to add too much as grain may attract rodents.
Tea Bags and Coffee grounds.
Horse and cow manure, this is the worms natural diet and they thrive on it.
Foods not to feed the worms
Meat and dairy products: Your worms will happily eat the meat but it will attract pests like flies and maggots. Meat can also rot in your farm and cause bad smells, germs and an unhealthy farm.
Worms do not like Citrus Fruits, onions and garlic.
Pineapple: Contains an enzyme that will kill your worms.
Fats or Oils.
Salted or Pickled foods.
Toxic house plants.
Fresh cut grass and weed clippings as these will heat up and kill the worms.
Fresh raw sawdust as it will heat up and kill the bin.
Some hard wood sawdust is also toxic namely oak and cedar.
Spoiled swelled canned goods.
In ideal conditions worms will eat their body weight in food daily. Do not overfeed your farm, keep an eye on the amount of excess food that builds up in your farm and reduce feeding accordingly. Only add fresh food as the old is consumed. Overfeeding will cause smells and can kill the worms while underfeeding will starve the worms and reduce the rate at which they breed.
It is best to cut the food into small pieces which will help the worms eat the food easily. Blending the food in a blender with water willl make a nice mush for them to eat, freezing and defrosting food will help the food breakdown easier which means the worms can eat it faster.
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Bryan Miller says...
Hi from a new-be of worm farming I have done a lot of reading about the whole proces, still keen. I have been given a living a old working farm ( so there it is ). Can I use the liquid in the bottom container? Some water down and others are using it straight. What do I do?
I await with keen interest Bryan
Why is my worm farm developing what looks like a white mould?
You are probably overfeeding it or you have put something high in starch or sugars (like rice or fruit) into the farm.
The worms cannot eat food while it is solid, so the food has to start decomposing before they can slurp it down. However if there is too much food for them to cope with then they will not eat it quickly enough and other organisims will take over.
Is it okay to put sparrow droppings in a worm farm?
I don't see why not. Everything in moderation though, bird droppings are alkaline and too much can overwhelm your worms. A good habit is to put any new food in a small corner or area of the farm and wait and see if they eat it.
Hi , can you use sawdust with earthwurm growth, or do you mix it with other particilars.
Sawdust can be problematic.
Sawdust does not biodegrade very fast and as such the worms cannot eat it quickly. Probably the best thing to do with the sawdust is to compost it for 4-6 weeks (until the internal temperature drops) before feeding it to the worms, this will ensure that any harmful resins and the lignin etc are broken down, this will help the worms process the resulting composted sawdust quicker.
Is it important to change the dirt in my worm beds and what is a good median to replace the old with. I started out with dirt from our garden and they seemed to do OK now they have went deep into the bed ab I do not see them moving along the top where I put food.
When the bins fill up most people will remove the castings and dig them into their garden, the castings are a great fertiliser.
Compost worms do not do well in soil unless the soil has a very high organic content, they prefer bedding materials like shredded paper and coir or peat. Get some shredded paper from an office shredder or tear up some newspapers, wet them thoroughly and put them in the bottom of the bin, put the worms in the bin and add a couple of handfuls of food in a pile in the middle, wait for the food to start disappearing and then add more.