Greetings, vermiculturists! And welcome to what I plan to make a semi-regular newsletter giving you hints and tips about growing and maintaining your worm farms.
Can I use leaf mulch as worm food?
The short answer is: YES!
The long answer:
You can use leaf litter as worm food regardless of whether it’s composted or not. Worms seems to love it, and it’s quite close to what they would normally get in the wild.
Try topping your worm farm off with crushed leaves over some that have been soaked. The dry leaves on top will insulate the wet below from both moisture and heat.
Leaves than have been soaked and added wet will tend to shed water, so make sure you mix them with something absorbent like shredded newspaper. However, once moist, the leaves will tend to break down faster.
Vermicompost made from leaf litter, from anecdotal evidence, performs better than worm castings made from other sources.
It can be used to make a great bedding consisting of paper, cardboard, shredded leaves and shredded horse manure. It’s neat to see the worms eat the leaves down to the skeleton.
You can store it in between feeding in plastic bags and it will continue to break down.
If you’ve got a leaf pile sitting around in the garden, it’s probably already attracting worms anyway, have a rummage and you may find some have already started turning leaves into black gold!
Fungus gnats are one of the very few negative effects you may get.
NWRedworms have a great video on YouTube looking at the difference between different beddings and food sources, including leaf litter. You can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5_1kBGSGxk
To summarize, yes, leaf litter can be used both as bedding and food for your worm farm. It’s readily available and cheap too! So rather than composting the leaves, just feed them to your worms!
Thanks for reading and I hope that this has been useful for you.
Have a worm-derful day!
The Gentleman Vermiculturist
The Gentleman Vermiculturist can be found on Facebook and Instagram as well as other social media. He talks incessantly about worms.