Worms will eat a wide variety of nuts if they are placed in a worm farm in a thin layer. Small worm farms can break down a handful of nuts within 2-3 weeks. Any natural nuts can be placed in a worm farm including peanuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts and almonds.
Avoid putting highly salted nuts in a worm farm or wash the nuts first. Too much salt can harm the worms and damage soil.
Avoid adding candied nuts to your worm farm because they will attract ants. Although the worms will eventually break down the nuts it will take a lot longer and there will be a lot of ants.
Worms will digest nuts over a period of weeks depending on how many you add. Take care not to put too many in the worm farm at any one time. Add a small handful and wait for them to be broken down before adding more. Large populations of composting worms will break down any leftover nuts or shells quickly.
Keeping rats and mice away from nuts in worm farms
Make sure that you have a tight fitting lid on your worm farm if you are adding nuts. These delicious treats are the favorite foods of mice and rats. Keeping a tight fitting lid will keep these rodents out. Mix the nuts through the worm castings gently to cover them. This can also help to deter rodents.
This article will explore all you need to know about how to safely feed your worms nuts. This includes how to add shells, types of nuts that are appropriate as well as adding seeds.
How to put nuts in a worm farm
Leftover old or moldy nuts that you have at home can be placed in your worm farm. Feeding them to worms is an easy way to turn them into rich worm casting which can be added to your garden. This avoids waste and gives your worms a tasty treat.
How to safely feed worms salted nuts
Always avoid putting salted nuts straight in your worm farm. The salt can harm the worms and end up in your worm castings. Placing highly salted worm castings in your soil can damage it and stop plants from growing well.
To safely place salted nuts in your worm farm, place them in a sieve first and wash them thoroughly with cold water. This will remove the salt and make them safe to feed to your worms.
Also avoid putting candied or sugar coated nuts into a worm farm. The sugar coating will quickly attract ants to your worm farm.
Types of nuts that can be fed to worms
Here are my top list of nuts that you can safely feed to your to your worms at home. Any natural or roasted nut can be fed to your worms with or without the shell on. Remember wash off any salted nuts thoroughly before adding them to your worm farm.
Nuts that are safe to add to worm farms include natural and roasted versions of the nuts below:
Avoid adding these types of nuts to worm farms:
- Salted nuts
- Candied nuts
- Nut butters
Putting nut shells in in a worm farm
You can put nut shells into your worm farm for worms to digest. They will take longer than the nuts to be broken down by the worms and soil bacteria. Hard shells like almond and walnut shells can take months to break down.
Shells that have not completely broken down can still be removed and mixed through soil. You do not need to wait for these pieces to completely break down before using the worm castings in your garden.
Small amounts of shells will continue to break down in your soil over time. If you are using worm castings as part of your seed raising mix then sift any leftover shells out first.
Putting moldy or rotten nuts in a worm farm
You can put old, rotten or moldy nuts into a worm farm as long as they are unsalted. Nuts can go rancid within a few weeks or months depending on the fat content of the nut. Once this happens they are no longer any good for people to eat.
Rancid nuts are great for worms however and they will usually break them down quicker than fresh nuts. Worms like to eat organic material that is breaking down. They may wait for the nuts to start to break down before eating them.
Soil bacteria will move in to break down the nuts and the worms will eat them too. Over time, the nuts will be broken down and turned into worm castings. The nutrients from the nuts will end up in the worm castings and are perfect for boosting your garden soil and improving potting soil.
How many nuts can be put in a worm farm?
The number of nuts that can be added to your worm farm will depend on the air temperature, moisture levels and size of the worm farm. A small worm farm like mine can digest around a handful of nuts every 2-3 weeks.
A larger, tiered worm farm can digest more nuts if there are more worms. My small worm farm contains between 500-1000 worms. Larger worm farms can contain thousands of worms and will eat through organic matter a lot quicker.
As a general guide, it is best to add a small handful of nuts at a time. As you start to see the nuts start to break down then you can add more. Balance this out with a covering of brown material like straw, hay or fall leaves. This can help to deter mice and rats and protect the worms as they break down the nuts.
How long does it take for worms to eat nuts?
It can take as little as 2 weeks for large worm farms to break down small amounts of nuts. It can take up to 6 months or longer for whole, large nuts to be broken down by a small worm farm. To help your worms to break down nuts quicker crush them first.
Whole nuts can be crushed with a hammer outside or use a nutcracker. Smaller, broken pieces of nuts will be broken down quicker. Take the nuts out of the shell and break the shell down further. The smaller the pieces, the quicker it will break down.
Do Worms Eat Nuts? | Summary
Worms in worm farms will eat nuts and their shells. Break down the nuts and shells into small pieces to help the worm to break them down quicker. Rinse off any salt from the surface of the nuts before adding them to your worm farm. Make sure you have a tight fitting lid to keep rats and mice out.
Happy worm farming.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.