Worms can be fed toilet paper rolls and they will break them down to producing worm castings. You can help your worms to break down these rolls quicker by preparing them in a few easy steps. Cut the toilet paper rolls into ½ inch strips, soak them in water and spread them evenly over the top of the worm farm.
Cover your worms with a worm blanket to keep it dark and keep the moisture in after adding the toilet paper rolls.
Worms will digest the carboard from toilet paper rolls if you prepare it properly. Whole toilet paper rolls will still be broken down but can take 6 months or more for the worms to digest fully. Follow my easy steps to feed your worms toilet paper rolls and stop them ending up in landfill.
5 Steps to feed worms toilet paper rolls
Here are my easy steps to feed your worms toilet paper rolls at home. This will help them and the soil bacteria in your worm farm to break the rolls down as fast as possible.
1. Cut toilet paper rolls in ½ inch strips
Cut the toilet paper rolls in half, and then flatten the carboard out. You can then cut this into ½ inch strips which will give the worms more surface area to eat from.
I only have a small worm farm at the moment so it is important that I help the worms to digest food and cardboard as quick as possible. Smaller pieces of cardboard will means that the soil bacteria moves in fast to break it down. Worms will eat both the cardboard and soil bacteria.
Cut up toilet paper rolls can be sprinkled in the bottom of a new worm farm or a new layer as worm bedding. This brown material provides a lot of carbon and can help to balance out the moisture content of food scraps that contain a lot of water like greens or fruit.
2. Soak the toilet paper rolls
To help your worms to break down the toilet paper rolls as fast as possible in your worm farm you can pre-soak them. Place the cut up toilet paper strips into a bucket or bowl of water. Allow them to soak in the water for around an hour.
You can remove the toilet paper strips with spoon or add the water and strips to your worm farm.
Note: do not add a large amount of water to your worm farm at any one time, 2-3 cups is fine but too much can make your worm farm too soggy.
Note: This step is not essential but will help worms to break down the cardboard quicker. You can also add toilet paper rolls dry to your worm bin as a bedding. IT will gradually absorb moisture from food scraps and the rain.
3. Spread the toilet paper rolls evenly across your worm farm
After adding the toilet paper rolls to your worm farm take a moment to spread them evenly across the surface. Use a spade or gloved hands to gradually pull the pieces apart and make sure they are spread evenly with gaps.
Note: Start with small amounts of toilet paper roll. They should not cover the full surface of your worm farm because they can dry and form a layer that will block oxygen. Make sure you can still see worm castings between the toilet paper roll pieces.
4. Add other food scraps
Is important to add a range of food scraps to your worm bin with the toilet paper rolls. Other food scraps will help to add moisture and different nutrients for the worms to feed on and digest. This will mean that the worm castings will be nutrient rich and great for improving your soil.
Adding only toilet paper rolls will lead to your worm farm becoming too dry and low in nutrition for worms to survive happily.
5. Cover with a worm blanket and lid
The final step after adding the toilet paper roll pieces is to cover them with a worm blanket. You can use a commercially made fiber blanket, layers of newspaper or thick cardboard. This will help to protect the worms, make it dark and help them to break down the rolls quicker.
When worms are kept in the dark, they will feel safe to dig up and digest the food in the worm bin. If they are exposed to too much light they will stay deeper in the worm and will digest food slower.
If your worm farm comes with a lid place it on to keep birds, bugs, mice and lizards out of your worm bin.
How many toilet paper rolls to add to worm farms
Toilet paper rolls that have been shredded and mixed with other brown materials make the perfect bedding when starting a new worm farm or adding another layer to your worm tower.
If you are using toilet paper rolls as bedding, you can cut up 4-5 rolls and mix them with fall leaves, straw and old compost for a great starting layer. This can be layered on the bottom 2-3 inches of your worm farm for the worms to digest.
If you are adding toilet paper rolls to the top of the worm farm as feed then start with 1-2 rolls cut up and then add more as the first ones are digested.
How to Feed Worms Toilet Paper Rolls | Summary
Toilet paper rolls are a great carbon source and worms will happily digest them. In a well balanced worm farm, these rolls can be broken down within a month of adding them. Cut them into strips and add them wet or dry to your worm farm.
I only have a small worm farm so I will stick to adding 1-2 rolls to my worm farm each month. If you have a larger worm farm, then you can increase this amount. Remember to start small and only add more toilet paper rolls once the first ones have been digested by your worms.
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.