Worm Composting with Red Wiggler Worms: Choosing the Right Compost Materials

Composting the Kitchen Waste

Worm Composting with Red Wiggler Worms

Red Wiggler worms are really, low maintenance creatures which can literally live off scraps from other people’s garbage cans. What man considers as trash, red worms consider as food. What man considers uncomfortable, red worms consider as homey and comfy. They are really simple creatures with simple tastes and even simpler lifestyles. As some say: “one man’s trash is another worm’s feast.” And that is why worm composts are easily one of the most favorite sources of organic fertilizer.

Red worms produce castings which make for excellent organic fertilizer for your plants and they are also so easy to take care of. And that posits the question:

What is the suitable food for my red worms?


What Do Red Worms Eat?

One thing that you have to consider when maintaining a red worm composter is the food the red worms will eat. Food scraps such as fruit and vegetable peelings, teabags, coffee grounds and egg shells are red worm favorites. On the other hand, meats and dairy products along with oily foods will be bad for your red worms’ stomachs; you want your worms to stay away from those as much as possible.

It is also important to note that your precious little red worms should not be fed on the first day of their stay in your red worm compost bin. The earliest that you can feed the red worms would be on the second day since they settled in.

Corn meal or corn powder can also be sprinkled on the top bedding and then wet thoroughly. Beware though of high sodium content on the corn meals as they can have adverse effects on your composting worms!

Using animal wastes to feed your red worms can also be a good idea. If you do this, you have to make sure that the animal from which you got your wastes from has not been wormed recently as this will kill your worms!

Horse and rabbit manure are ideal animal wastes for your red worms. Adding protein to your red worms’ diet can also boost their production.

Over – feeding your Red Worms

Worm CompostingYou must be thinking now that giving more and more food to your red worms will be a good thing to do. Well, not really. Over-feeding your red worms can lead to a number of bad things. You must remember that worms are not the only ones who feed on food wastes, kitchen scraps, coffee grounds and other organic material. Other critters and ants feed on these things too. There is also the danger that they feed on your red worms!

Over-feeding your red worms can attract other unwanted visitors to your worm composter and lead them to feed on the organic material you generously deposited there. They can endanger your red worms by consuming all of the organic material allotted for your worms and causing their malnourishment.

Another danger of over-feeding your worms is the appearance of molds on your worm feed. This can also be dangerous for your red worm colony. To ensure that these do not happen, you must not over-feed your worms. You can also cut the feed into tiny pieces and bury them under a thin layer of bedding to prevent attraction from molds and flies.

Talking Diet the Red Worms’ Way

Doing all these things will ensure the safety of your red worms in your compost bins. In the process you do not only take care of your red worms, you also practice safe and healthy organic gardening by using non-synthetic, organic gardening tools which ensure ecological health and safety.

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4 Responses to “Worm Composting with Red Wiggler Worms: Choosing the Right Compost Materials”

  1. June says:

    Good article. Have you tried worms in a compost tumbler? I just introduced them to my tumbler and am fairly confident they can handle the tumbling action. A bigger concern is having just moved to snow country they might freeze in the tumbler. Any thoughts?

  2. Trudi Furuyama says:

    I’m trying to get your RSS feed but i’m getting an error. Please let me know when it’s ready, I love the site. Thank you! :)

  3. jshaw says:

    Hi June,

    you can read our other blog post about vermicomposting in the winter:
    http://www.gardenworms.com/blog/worm-composting/winter-worm-composting/
    this trick has always worked for me. :) Goodluck and keep reading our blog!

  4. jshaw says:

    Trudi, I’m not sure why its not working for you but our RSS feed has always worked for most readers! :)

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