Worms love to eat grapes as part of their regular diet. You can safely feed your composting worms including red wigglers grapes, their skins and stems. The stems will take longer to break down and the worms will usually let the grapes start to break down before eating them. You can feed any type of grapes to worm including those that have started to rot or go moldy.
Avoid feeding worms grapes that have any pesticides, herbicides or fungicides still on the surface of the grapes. Always wash grapes thoroughly before feeding them to your worms or your family.
Worms are hungry creatures that can consumer a lot of fruit and vegetables. Add grapes to their diet and they will thank you. They will break down the skins and flesh and eat the soil bacteria that move in to break down the grapes too.
This article will explore all you need to know about feeding worms grapes including how to keep ants out of your worm bin.
How to feed grapes to composting worms
There are a few tips that will help to feed worms grapes including how to stop the worm bin from becoming too wet and preventing ants and flies.
1. Pull the grapes off the stem
To help the worms to break down the grapes quicker it is best if you pull them off the stems. This means that the grapes can be scattered over the top of the worm bin in a thin layer. This will give the worms a larger surface area to eat from.
Soil bacteria will also break down the grapes at the same time. Worms will eat the bacteria and the grapes condensing the organic matter and releasing the nutrients into the worm castings. Grapes digested by the worms will make a rich organic matter mix to add to your garden soil or potting soil.
Worms can break down a small bunch of grapes within 1-2 weeks if the worm bin is healthy.
2. Cut the stem into smaller pieces
The next way to help the grape stems to break down quicker is to cut them into smaller pieces. The easiest way to do this is to use kitchen scissors to cut up the stems. Cut them into half inch pieces.
The stems of grapes are hard so it will take longer for worms to break them down. They will eat the grapes first and then the stems. They will only take 2-3 weeks to break down stems. The smaller and thinner the stems are, the quicker they will be broken down by the worms.
3. Cover the grapes with mulch
The next tip after feeding grapes to your worms is to cover them with a 2 inch layer of mulch. This will help to prevent ants from finding them in your worm farm. The high sugar content of the grapes can attract ants and flies so keep them covered to deter them.
Great mulch choices include sugar cane mulch, straw, bark mulch, fall leaves or hay. All of these will cover the grapes and keep flies out. Cover the mulch with an extra 2-3 layers of newspaper to add extra protection.
While flies and ants won’t cause any damage they can stop the worms from eating food as quickly. Flies can lay their eggs and grow maggots in the castings so it is best to keep them out.
Place a lid on top of the worm farm to keep the larger flies out.
4. Keep the worm farm covered with a worm blanket
Another great way to help worms to break down the grapes quicker and keep flies out is to use a worm blanket. Worm blankets will be made from natural materials which will keep the worms damp, protected and make them feel safe enough to eat the grapes.
The worm blanket keeps the light out encouraging the worms to dig up to the top to eat the grapes and stems. You can buy worm blankets from garden centers or some hardware stores. You can also use thick cardboard or hessian to cover the worms.
5. Cover the grapes with soil if there are lots of ants
Another great way to deter ants from your worm farm after adding grapes is to cover them with worm castings or soil. If you have old potting soil, simply pour it over the top of the grape to cover them. You can then layer some mulch and then add a worm blanket.
Another way is to use a small spade to dig the grapes into the worm castings. This will make it easier for the worms to reach and they will not need to dig up out of their bedding to eat them.
Types of grapes that are safe to feed to worms
Every type of grape is safe to feed to worm as long as they do not have any pesticides on their surface. Grapes that have recently been sprayed with pesticides or fungicides could harm the worms. Always wash the grapes first before feeding them to your family or your worms to remove anything that may be on the surface of the grape.
Here are some common types of grapes that are safe to feed to your worms.
- Green table grapes
- Red table grapes
- Seeded grapes
Any types of grapes that are free of pesticides and herbicides are perfect for your composting worms. Only add a small amount at a time so the worm farm does not become too wet.
Can you feed worms rotting grapes?
You can feed worm grapes that are rotting or moldy. Worms will actually eat these first and quicker than the fresh grapes. They will eat the soft flesh and the soil bacteria on the grape surface quickly. They can break down these grapes within a week if they are already brown.
Problems with feeding worms grapes
Here are a few problems that you can look out for when feeding grapes to worms and how to solve each one.
1. They can attract ants in warm weather
Grapes can attract ants to your worm bin particularly in warmer weather. Cover the grapes with old potting soil, mulch and a worm blanket to help to prevent them coming in.
2. Grapes contain a lot of water so need to be balanced with brown materials
Add dry, brown materials to your worm farm to balance the moisture content of the grapes and stop your worm bin from getting too wet. Add a layer of fall leaves, straw or hay to absorb the extra water.
3. Stems will take longer to break down
Remember that grape stems will take longer than the grapes to break down. Snip them into small pieces with kitchen scissors to help worms to digest the stems quicker.
Feeding Worms Grapes | Summary
Worms love to eat grapes and it is safe to feed them to your composting worms in your worm bin. You can also put them into your compost bin and let earthworms naturally crawl up to eat the grapes. Always rinse the grapes with fresh water before putting them in your worm farm to make sure there are no pesticides left on their skins.
Worms will break down grapes in around 2-3 weeks. Wait for the grapes to be broken down completely before adding more.
Happy worm farming.