Coconut coir is an ideal bedding for worm bins and is not just great for the environment of the bin but is also perfectly healthy for worms to eat and consume.
Just as they eat the soil that they live in in the ground, they will eat the coir that you have supplied as their environment in the compositing bin.
But why is coir and peat moss, for example, so nutritious for worms?
Believe it or not, worms willingly eat coconut coir. In certain worm composting bins, the favoured bedding for the worms is indeed coir, which the worms not only live in, but also eat regularly.
It is a natural and nutritious fibre that can provide an opportune habitat for your worms in your composting bin!
In short, to answer the question “do worms eat coconut coir?” is YES, worms do indeed eat coco coir even though it is normally used as bedding for your earthworms. (half of the food worms go through on a daily basis can consist of their bedding!)
It may be harder to come by this type of bedding for some people though, compared to things like paper, cardboard and newspapers.
Is coconut coir good for worms?
Yes, coconut coir is great for worms! It provides fantastic nutrition, bedding, holds moisture well and creates pockets of air in their composting environment.
You may be thinking about starting your own worm composting bin and aren’t quite sure as to what would be the best elements to provide for your worms.
Creating a worm bin is a very interesting and fulfilling hobby, but in order for it to work and for you worms to be perfectly content, then it is essential to get all of the elements right.
Perhaps, during your research into worm bins, you have come across articles and websites talking about coconut fiber or coir to introduce to your worms.
You may also have a rough idea but aren’t quite sure as to what coir is.
Don’t worry, as we’re here to help!
Coco coir, also known as coco fibre or coconut husk, is the natural fibre you can see on the outside of coconuts, the strings on the outside that almost look like hair.
Coir has proven itself useful when making door mats, brushes and even in mattresses.
Speaking of mattresses, just as we sometimes use coir to help us sleep, so too do worms like to have coir as bedding!
What is coconut bedding? Why should I use it?
The bedding for worms refers to an environment in which someone will place their worms in a worm bin. It’s a bit different to your average duvet!
Instead of living in the regular soil, worms in a bin live in bedding materials supplied by you, the owner.
In order for the worms to prosper, the bedding needs to be moist and carbon rich, which coconut coir is (this balances out the nitrogen of a worms diet).
Worm bedding has to be perfectly balanced as it will be consumed by the worms and it composes a large part of the contents of the bin itself!
You may have heard people use things such as shredded office paper, shredded newspaper, (and any other plain shredded paper) or corrugated cardboard as the chosen bedding for their worms.
Many, however, have made the leap to more organic matter like peat moss, coconut husks and coco fiber.
Thanks to its high moisture absorption rate, coir bedding is perfect for creating the right environment for your worms in their bin.
A properly maintained worm composter needs to be constantly damp (between 50% and 60%) in order to maintain optimum health.
Worms need moisture to be able to breathe.
Worms breathe through their skin, as they have no lungs, and therefore need a particularly damp environment in order to not suffocate.
As bedding material, coconut coir will retain the water and keep your worms feeling fine. It also provides ample nutrition for the worms!
Finally, we tend to forget the comfort level of the worms but it is extremely important.
Due to their thin skin, should they feel that they are in a sharp or rough environment, they will try their very best to leave that environment.
That is yet another reason that coconut coir is perfect for them. Coconut coir is extremely soft and can provide an almost soil-like feel for the worms.
Preparation of coconut coir to feed to worms
- Shred the coconut coir into smaller pieces to make it easier for your earthworms to eat and get through
- Be aware of maintaining a C/N ratio of around 25 to 30:1 (30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen) in your worm bin.
- Coconut coir has a C/N ratio of around 100:1 so is great for balancing out a compost bin full of nitrogen rich food wastes or manures.
Can you use worm castings in coco coir?
Yes, you can use both worm castings and coco coir together for your growing vegetation.
Separately, worm castings and coco coir both have increasingly appreciated qualities in the gardening and farming worlds and the two combined can be a great source of nutrients for your vegetation.
Add in food scraps or kitchen scraps, too, and you have a fantastic worm friendly ecosystem.
Worm castings, also known as worm poop, is full of substances that help with plant growth and soil maintenance.
One of its many qualities is that it holds water in the soil in abundance, keeping it moister for longer.
Along with its ability to retain moisture very well, worm castings are extremely efficient in providing plants, flowers, trees and grass with nutrients that they would not necessarily have access to otherwise.
Is coco coir worth adding to your compost?
Coconut fiber is a very efficient and increasingly used material used in feeding people’s vegetation.
Using coco coir instead of regular soil has proved itself to be a very effective way of growing plants, trees and flowers.
Its incredible capacity to retain water means that your plants will be constantly hydrated. For those who are eco-friendly minded, coir has additional benefits, too.
Coconut fiber is harvested from a part of the coconut that is usually ignored and disposed of.
By using it instead of soil, you are making the most of natural product that would otherwise go to waste.
Coconut fibre also works well as a natural pest repellant when you add it to compost.
Most pests do not like coir and will therefore stay away while your worms move through it.
It is a fantastic way to keep away those unwanted creatures all while keeping your little friends within the soil completely happy and safe!
It also means that your plants won’t have to deal with the negative effects of chemical pesticides.
Your worms will live in (and thrive!) and eat coir.
From a plant-growing perspective, combining both coir and the worm castings can be very beneficial food for your vegetation, but do be careful!
Just as most things in the natural world, a perfect balance is essential.
Combining the two without looking into the measurements and ratios needed for example (nitrogen and carbon) could cause more damage to your plants and worms than good.
In conclusion, yes, worms eat coir derived from coconut and you can combine worm castings with coir, and it can be very beneficial to your plants! But be careful to get the balance right and do your research beforehand.
For more information on what worms like to eat and what makes for the best worm bin and worm compost, have a browse through further articles on our website.