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Worms love balance: The key to most of your Worm Farming problems

Have you noticed your worm farm isn’t working out the way you had planned? Most of the time it’s because the balance of carbon (browns) and nitrogen (greens) is off. When most people start worm farming, they put their food scraps in and forget about carbon sources, which is how most worm farming problems arise. But remember, we can’t forget about the important role that carbon plays too!

Why is it important to balance carbon and nitrogen in your worm farm?
Let’s make it easy: Nitrogen creates heat and carbon helps cool it down. Combined with a regular water supply, carbon and nitrogen balance the pH level and temperature in the worm farm, creating an optimal environment for your worms to break down organic waste efficiently.

When the balance is off, you’ll notice that your worm farm gets too wet or too dry, attracts unwanted pests, such as flies. It may also start to smell quite acidic and vinegary, whereas a healthy worm farm has quite a comforting, earthy aroma to it.

The ideal mix of carbon and nitrogen in a healthy worm farm is 50/50. The easiest way to maintain the balance is to remember this: For every handful of nitrogen, add a handful of carbon. That’s it!

Here are some examples of carbon and nitrogen food sources for your worms…

Carbon (Brown) sources:
(Comes from cellulose-based materials)

  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Egg cartons
  • Old straw
  • Tissues
  • Vacuum cleaner lint
  • Leafy matter (old straw, dried grass clippings, dry leaves are all okay! Just make sure these have not been treated with pesticides or any other chemicals as they may be toxic to worms).
Nitrogen (Green) sources:
(Comes from food scraps and green plant matter)
  • Fruit and veggie scraps
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Teabags
  • Hair


With a 50/50 balance of carbon and nitrogen, your worms will have the most optimal environment for breaking down your organic waste. Which means you can say bye-bye to majority of worm farming issues!

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