Do Worms Eat Lettuce? (Can Red Wigglers Eat it?)

When it comes to their diet, worms really aren’t picky eaters. The general rule of thumb is that these little creatures will eat most of your food scraps, as long as it is organic decaying matter and, as you can imagine, that covers a pretty wide spectrum of things, including lettuce! 

From banana peels, to apple cores, egg cartons, tea bags, coffee grounds, fruit, leaves, all kinds of vegetable scraps, and, in moderation, even certain citrus fruits, onions, and meat (they can, but it’s not recommended!). Basically, you can feed your worms almost anything organic that can decompose!

Yes – worms can eat lettuce. Lettuce is something that most of us have in our homes most of the time, especially during the warmer months. If not kept in a cool place, it can go bad relatively quickly. This is when worms eat it.

That’s why it’s great to know that your little earthworm helpers love to munch through it in your worm farm or bin.

Of course, there are certain foodstuffs from each category that can be dangerous to feed worms consumed in large quantities, so it is always best to check on every item of food waste that you are planning on composting, before doing so. 

Do worms like lettuce?

It is definitely safe to say that yes, worms eat and do like lettuce. 

In fact, earthworms love almost all kinds of leafy green vegetables! From lettuce, to kale, Swiss card, etc.

If you have ever thrown some lettuce into a worm composting bin or even directly onto the garden, you will have noticed that it did not stay there for very long! 

If you decide to throw your lettuce into the composting bin, chances are that it was because it had begun to go brown and liquidy.

Well, you can rest assured that you did the right thing! The fact that the lettuce has begun to go brown and liquid just means that the decaying process has begun.

This only makes it easier for the worms to consume and makes their feeding easier.

do worms eat lettuce blog post image

The earthworms in your garden and in your composting bin will only be able to eat the organic matter that you and garden provide for them, once it has started to decay.

Specifically, worms will eat the bacteria from the decaying organic matter that is found in the soil or from the foods and scraps mushy surface.

That is why, feeding a bit of a brown lettuce to the worms is a good thing for them.

It will not be long before your garden, worm bin or worm farm is lettuce free and ready for more! 

Do I need to clean my lettuce?

It is important to remember to always wash off any salad dressing, spices or condiments from the lettuce before you put it on the garden.

Some of these ingredients and chemicals can be very damaging to the worms and to your garden, too.

Even the most natural of dressings on foods could contain certain food ingredients that are harmful to wigglers.

For example, it is very popular to add citrus fruits such as lemons in salad dressings.

This is a no-no if you want to feed your salad to worms.

The acidity level is simply too high and the worms will do their very best to get away from it.

The same goes for dairy products, which go off very quickly and will attract more fruit flies than anything else. If they are trapped in a worm bin, then this could in fact kill them.

That is why it is always best to wash off the lettuce and various other greens in order to make sure that they will be as nutritious, healthy and safe for the worms, as possible! 

Can red wigglers eat lettuce?

Yes, red wigglers can eat lettuce. Again, they’re likely to love these type of food scraps, as are your other earthworms.

Those little hard workers love lettuce as much as any other worm! It is a very good food for them for multiple reasons.

Lettuce is filled with nutrients that are beneficial to the worms, just as they are beneficial to us.

However, what is probably the best thing about lettuce for your little helpers is that lettuce is made up primarily of water.

In fact, it is said that up to 95% of the composition of a raw lettuce leaf is water.

As you may know, our wormmy friends do not have lungs like we do, worms breathe through their skin.

This means that they absolutely must at all times be in a damp environment.

The fact that lettuce is so full of water makes it easy for them to digest and will definitely help keep their environment nice and moist. 

Remember when you are composting worms that a balance is necessary!

If you have a lot of lettuce to provide for your worm bin, then consider adding some extra bedding, such as paper, coconut coir, cardboard, etc.

The extra dry material will help soak up some of the moisture from the lettuce and will therefore be less damaging to the worm farm.

As much as moisture is essential in a worm bin, too much moisture will suffocate them. As is the case with all living things, a balance is necessary. 

Another way of helping your little friends get through the lettuce is by cutting it up into small pieces.

This will help the decaying process move along far quicker and will therefore be easier for the worms to consume. 

The benefits of using lettuce as worm food

When it comes to the benefits of using lettuce as worm food, the list really does go on! 

  • As was previously stated, lettuce does contain certain vitamins and nutrients that are indeed good for worms. 
  • An even better aspect about lettuce for worms is that they can devour masses of it!
  • Unlike certain other foods, such as starchier ones like pasta and bread, worms will happily make their way through lettuce quite regularly.
  • Water content of lettuce will add moisture to a worm bin (but keep an eye on the bin to make sure it doesn’t go “wet”!)

Lettuce is indeed very easy for them to consume, breaks down easily for them to digest, and it’s difficult to overfeed worms on lettuce in any way. 

Summary – Should you feed your worms lettuce in your worm bin?

So there you have it, lettuce is indeed a very good source of food for both you and your worms love it!

Give it a try for yourself and see how fast your worms make it through those leafy greens.

Do remember to always maintain a healthy balance between “greens” and “browns” (nitrogen and carbon) in all worm compost bins and vermicomposting systems.

For more information, check out our article on ideal bedding you should use in worm bins!