Worm Food Bonanza

Big Containers of Manure and Coffee - WORM FOOD!
Giant cardboard boxes containing horse manure and coffee grounds

Late last week I received two big ol’ boxes of ‘worm food’ from a farmer friend of mine – one with manure, the other with coffee grounds. In case you are wondering, I DID in fact pay for these materials (something that would be unheard of for most vermicomposting hobbyists). As a worm business owner, it makes good economic sense to provide my wigglers with lots of highly nutritious food, since it will help them to grow more quickly and breed more readily.

Aside from that, I knew it would provide me with more FUN topics to write about on the blog!

Coffee Grounds

I will be adding a lot of manure/grounds to the big worm bed at my dad’s place, but I’ll certainly be setting aside a fair amount for fun projects as well. One thing I want to do is test out coffee grounds as a sole food source for composting worms to see if that’s a viable option. I also will want to kickstart my vermicomposting trenches in the next few weeks as well.

I will certainly keep everyone posted!

**For Even More Worm Fun, Sign Up for the RWC E-mail List!**
Previous Post

Worm Inn Journal – 04-08-09

Next Post

What to do with a mature vermicomposting system


  1. I am real interested to see how the coffee grounds work out.
    How did you get so much?

    • Harlene Geier
    • April 7, 2009

    If those coffee grounds are from regular instead of decaf, I wonder how long it will take before your worms greet you with tiny empty cups waiting for a refill?


    • John from Huntington Beach
    • April 7, 2009

    I get all the coffee grounds I could possibly use from the local Starbucks. They are pleased to see them put to good use. I only go to two different locations but there are many more Starbucks close to my house plus a number of other coffee houses.

    • Duff in VT
    • April 7, 2009

    I will be setting up my first worm bin(s) later this month. I will buy my worms from a local worm guy. He uses a lot of horse manure, something I may not have access to. Will my worms revolt if I feed them the usual vegetable and fruit scraps after being raised on horse manure? And, if I can find an occasional (aged) horse biscuit, will that be OK to add without “spoiling” my worms with this treat?

    • Michael in Roanoke
    • April 9, 2009

    Dear Bentley et al.,

    I’ve had a lot of difficulties using coffee grounds in vermicomposting, even though you would think their surface area to volume ratio to be ideal for the worms. My best success involved making a mixture quite similar to your own home-made manure, although much heavier on the actual grounds and, consequently, on egg shells as well.
    My biggest mistake was adding coffee grounds in one quadrant of the worm bin and lightly covering it with bedding, which is the same way I feed them rotting vegetables with good effect. The worms avoided that area and after eight days would only start nibbling around the fringes. It took me quite some time to fix that particular problem.
    In my very brief time working with worms and coffee grounds, a more successful application method involved mixing moist, used coffee grounds with some bedding and applying it in a thin layer over top a larger surface area.
    I’m looking forward to reading the results of your large-scale experiments. As always, thanks and best wishes.

    • John from Derwood
    • April 24, 2009

    Hi Bentley,
    What a coincidence! About two weeks ago I started a new bin with a mix of composted cow manure and coffee grounds myself. I felt like I just had too many worms (!) in my existing red worm bins and wanted to get a new bin up and running quickly. I also have been collecting coffee grounds and food waste separately in order to help me better control the moisture levels in my bins. Anyway, I put in a layer of manure, a layer of coffee grounds then another layer of manure. I misted the top layer well to provide moisture. Then I started harvesting worms from a mature bin into the new bin. So far things are looking pretty good. I added more coffee grounds a few days ago and did some “stirring” of the bin. The worms seem to be well distributed and no problems with excess moisture. I look forward to seeing updates from you on your results.

  2. I’ve been mulching and vermiposting with coffee grounds for just over one year. There’s a quick mart / Dunkin Donuts along my commute to work and they set their trash bags of coffee grounds out for me after each shift. I probably bring 30# per day home.

    During the winter I feed the bins in the basement and let the excess accumulate in bags behind thee garage. Now I’m adding them to my raised beds and my outdoor worm beds which are mostly fed with leaves and cardboard. If nothing else my plsce sure smells great!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Get Your Free Vermicomposting Guide!

* Join the Red Worm Composting E-Mail List Today *