Can worms eat garlic? | Guide for home worm bins

Worms can eat fresh or dry garlic, garlic leaves and dry garlic skins. Adding small amounts of garlic to your worm farm or bin will not upset the water or bacteria balance and will not smell. When adding garlic to your worm bin, make sure you add a range of other food scraps to feed the worms. You can even add garlic roots and moldy cloves.

This article will explore how to feed worms garlic without making your worm bin smell or become too wet or out of balance. Follow my easy tips to safely add garlic to your worm bin.

Feeding worms garlic

Here are the list of safe garlic products and pieces that can be fed to worms in small amounts.

Garlic Skins

Dry garlic skins are safe to be added to a worm bin. Dry skins are actually perfect bedding as they will not add excess water. They will actually help to absorb water and balance out other food scraps. Garlic skins can be scattered on top of the worm castings. Stop them from blowing away by covering them with a worm blanket and lid.

Garlic Leaves

Green or brown garlic leaves are perfectly fine to add to a worm farm. If you buy green garlic bulbs from a greengrocer, you can trim the leaves off and add them to your worm farm. Cut them into small pieces with your kitchen scissors and scatter them on top. Start with the leaves from a small bunch and add more once your worms have eaten the first lot.

Garlic Cloves

Whole fresh garlic cloves can be added to your worm bin without causing any issues. It is best to chop the garlic cloves into small pieces to make it easier for the worms to eat. Soil bacteria will help to break down the fresh garlic too and the worms will feed on the bacteria.

I am always forgetting about a few garlic cloves that are leftover in my cupboard. Even if these cloves have started to sprout they can be added to your worm bin. Chop them into small pieces to stop them growing.

Note: it is best not to plant sprouting garlic bought from a supermarket in in your garden because it can spread disease. Choose an organic bulb from your garden center instead.

Roast Garlic

Roasted garlic leftover from dinner is safe to put in your worm farm. Make sure that it is not heavily salted as this can upset the balance in your worm farm. Roasted garlic will be soft so your worms will break it down quickly. You can add it with other unsalted roasted vegetables as well.

For more on adding cooked vegetables to your worm bin, check out my article here: Feeding Worms Cooked Vegetables | 7 Easy Tips for worm and bins

Moldy Garlic

Moldy garlic is fine to add to your worm bin. If you have garlic that has been sitting around in your cupboard too long or has gotten wet then add it to your worm bin. Add small amounts of moldy garlic and cover with worm castings or bedding.

Avoid adding too much moldy garlic as it can cause more food in your worm bin to grow mold. I always like to cover moldy food with straw, sugar cane mulch or fall leaves to reduce the mold spread.

This mold is safe for worms and soil bacteria and will be broken down into worm castings that can be used in your garden.

How to feed garlic to worms

Here are my easy tips to feed garlic to worms without upsetting the moisture balance in your worm farm. Using these steps worms will eat the garlic quickly turning them into valuable castings.

1. Chop whole cloves into small pieces

If you have whole garlic cloves to add to your worm farm it is important to chop them into small pieces. This will increase the surface area and help the worms to break them down quicker. You do not need to remove the skins, just chop them up into slices with a knife ready to be sprinkled on top of the castings.

2. Only add small amounts of garlic

Only add small amounts of garlic to start with. Adding 6-8 cloves of garlic or a small head is fine for a small worm farm. Wait until the garlic has been eaten by your worms before adding more. Any extra garlic can be added to your compost bin.

3. Use dry garlic skins as bedding

Dry garlic skin is perfect for worm bedding and the worms will eat it quickly. Garlic skins are thin and light and make it easy for worms to eat. Because they are light however it is important to cover them with a worm blanket so they don’t blow away. You can also mix garlic skins in with other food scraps to help to balance the moisture content.  

Note: Garlic skins and dry leaves can used in chicken nesting boxes to deter parasites.

4. Cover the worm bin with a blanket

Always cover the worm castings and worms with a worm blanket after adding garlic cloves. This will help to deter any pests that want to eat the garlic and help to make the worms feel safe and secure in their home. They will happily dig their way up to the surface when it is dark and moist to eat the garlic.

Can worms eat garlic? | Summary

Worms can safely eat garlic in a worm farm and turn it into worm castings. Worms love to eat garlic cloves, leaves and skins. Start with small amounts and increase based on the size of your worm farm and weather. Remember that worms will slow down their activity and food consumption in the winter so feed garlic over the spring, summer and fall seasons.

Happy growing.