Do Worms Eat Potatoes? (and Will Earthworms Eat Potato Peels?)

If you are researching what to feed and not to feed to your worms then you may have come across an array of different answers regarding the humble potato. Can you safely put spuds in your worm bin? Do they even like them, and their peels?

Some find that their worms respond perfectly well to potato peelings whereas others do not.  Worms will eat any organic decomposing matter and that, on the whole, includes potatoes. 

The answer is yes – worms do eat potatoes! 

Potatoes are obviously an organic source of food for us and for worms. They are also a common vegetable in most households. Therefore, feeding them should be pretty easy.

Should you put potato peels in a worm bin?

Yes – you can definitely put potato peels into a worm bin. 

As you might know, potatoes are very starchy and so they can be damaging to worm compost if they are not put in moderation. 

Too much starch is going to be unhealthy for the worms to consume. 

Starchy foods such as potatoes take a long time to decompose.

This means that before adding any more potatoes and their peelings, it would be wise to make sure that any other starch that you had put in the compost pile previously, has completely gone to avoid this problem. 

Another wise move before adding any potatoes to your worm bin, would be to chop up the potato and/or its peelings into smaller pieces. Worms have a mouth, but as you can imagine, it’s pretty tiny!

Potatoes do take a long time to decompose, so spreading out small pieces across the worm bin will help your little friends speed this process up and do their job quicker and easier. 

Can worms eat mashed potatoes?

Yes, worms can eat mashed potatoes. In fact, it’s probably easier for them to digest.

After a big family dinner, there usually is quite a pile of leftovers!

It feels terrible just throwing the food away, creating all of that unnecessary waste and thankfully, composting is a way of recycling some of the food and other kitchen scraps. 

That, of course, is where your worm bin comes in really handy.

Not all foods from big meals are adequate sources of nourishment for composting worms, but a lot of it can be.

Most organic food will be great for your composting worms, including those leftover mashed potatoes. 

do worms eat potatoes blog post image

Mashed potatoes are a home favorite but we do sometimes tend to make more than we can handle. 

You’ll be happy to know, then, that they can be the perfect treat for your worms to be fed, under certain conditions. 

The wonderful thing about mashed potatoes is that they can blend in easily with the compost, being that they are already in a mashed state, but it is important to take care 

Mashed potatoes are still very starchy, so putting a bit in every now and then is fine, but too much at once could be very damaging to your worms. 

It is also vital to remember to only put in pure mashed potatoes, with no added spices or dairy.

The dairy products won’t kill your worms, but they will create a terrible stink that could attract pests or other new unwanted guests into your garden.

As you may know, avoiding anything tainting your scraps such as garlic or citrus will also help to keep your worms healthy, too.

Do red wigglers like potatoes?

Yes, red wigglers do like potatoes, but again, only in moderation. Too much of a good thing is bad.

They’ll love potatoes as long as they’re mixed in with other scraps like bedding, some fruits and other things to keep your worm bin balanced.

Adding too many potatoes and/or peelings to your vermicomposting system could be very damaging to your worms, so do remember to offer it as a treat occasionally.

Look at the current state of your bin first too before deciding if it’s wise to add potatoes and peels at this time.

If you want to know more about what else makes suitable feeding for your worms, why not take a look at our guide on worms eating eggshells? Find out what’s best for your worm bin, potato or no potato.