Worms can eat seeds that are slow to sprout. They usually prefer to eat rotting organic material but new evidence has shown that worms will eat seeds. Worms will not consume enough seeds in regular garden beds to affect your crop or harvest. They are more likely to consume old seeds or those that will not grow properly anyway.
To protect your seeds from being eaten by worms give them something else to feed on. Mix through organic material like aged manure and compost before planting seeds. Place mulch around the outside of the seed area but not on top of the seeds. The worms will feed on the mulch and organic matter instead of your seeds.
You do not need to worry about worms eating the seeds that you plant in your home vegetable garden. I have been planting seeds in rich soil that is full of worms and they have never affected the crop yield.
When sowing seeds you generally will be you will be planting more than can fit in the space as adult plants. If a few are eaten by worms this will not impact your crop. You will usually need to thin out seeds including carrots, lettuce, Asian greens and shallots anyway.
Do worms eat seeds in raised garden beds?
There will not be enough worms present in a raised garden bed to eat enough seeds to affect your vegetable growth. Earthworms will naturally work their way up through the soil into garden beds.
Earthworms like to live in small populations so will not gather densely in once spot. This means that it is rare that you will ever have too many earthworms appear in your garden bed at any one time to destroy your seeds.
If you have placed large numbers of composting worms or red wigglers in your raised beds, then there is a chance they can feed on your seeds. If there is no other food then these dense populations of worms can feed on seeds.
It is more likely that red wigglers will find their way out of your raised garden bed if they don’t have enough food. It is better not to put large populations of composting worms in your raised beds. Keep them in a worm farm and use the worm castings in your raised bed instead.
Do worms eat seeds in worm farms?
Worms will eat almost any organic material placed in your worm farm. They will eat the seeds of peppers, tomatoes and strawberries quickly. These small seeds start to break down quickly and will be digested by the worms and turned into worm castings.
Worms prefer to let the seeds of fruit and vegetables start to rot down before eating them. These seeds will also be broken down by soil bacteria to release the nutrients into the soil.
Larger seeds like mango and avocado will take longer for the worms to break down. Avocado seeds can actually sprout in the worm farm before the worms get to eat them. If this happens, dig the avocado seed out and plant it in a pot to grow a new tree or break up the seed to feed it to your worms.
Do worms eat fruit seeds?
Worms will consume all fruit seeds placed in a worm farm. They will take up to 3 months to break down large seeds from mangoes or avocadoes. Smaller seeds from peppers, tomatoes or squash will be broken down quickly, within a week or two.
Earthworms will not eat a large amount of fruit seeds sown in an open garden bed. Earthworms do not live in dense populations so you can safely sow seeds straight into garden beds without worrying about them being eaten by worms.
Worms will eat old, rotting or slow growing seeds because they love the nitrogen. Seeds are rich in nitrogen so worms love them.
Can you put seeds in worm farm?
You can put any seed in a worm farm and the worms will eventually eat them. Some seeds are quick to sprout and will grow quickly before the worms get to eat them. This happens with avocado seeds and tomato seeds if they receive light.
Always cover your worm farm with a worm blanket to stop them from getting light. This will stop the seed from growing. If they still manage to grow, take a small trowel and dig them through the worm castings. The worms will then eat the seed and the sprout.
Do worms eat nuts?
Worms will eat any nuts that you put in your worm farm. They will eat a range of nuts and their shells including peanuts, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, cashews and almonds. The worms will take longer to break down nuts in their shells so crush them up into small pieces to help the worms digest them quicker.
What do worms feed on?
Worms in garden beds, worm farms and pots will feed on rotting organic matter in the first instance. Their favorite foods include rotting fruit and vegetable scraps and organic matter. Mulching your garden beds is the best way to feed and attract earthworms naturally to your garden.
If you have your own worm farm, make sure they get regular food and always have a thin layer of food scraps to snack on. Add small amounts regularly so the food does not attract ants or vinegar flies.
Cover the food scraps with brown materials like fall leaves, straw or sugar cane mulch. This will help to absorb the extra water and help to protect the worms. The worms will break down the leaves and straw over time mixing it into the worm castings.
Do Worms Eat Seeds? | Summary
Worms will eat slow growing seeds in vegetable gardens but not enough to notice any affect on your crop. Seeds are always sown thicker than there is room for a full grown plant. Any seeds eaten by worms will not be noticed at harvest.
Worms prefer to eat rotting material over seeds so give them some mulch, aged manures and compost to feed on instead. Improve your soil with these ingredients before planting seeds and your worms will leave them alone. Remember not to cover your seeds with mulch and water the seeds well to help them to grow quickly.
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.