Coffee grounds

sk290October 30, 2009

Is coffee grounds food or bedding material? I've read in some old post that it's used as bedding material along with newspapers and something else. I guess the difference to me would be whether to mix it in the bedding vs. just feeding in one corner along with the food to be consumed.

How much coffee is enough or too much?


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The distinction between food and bedding is a little gray, they chew up the bedding too don't they? Coffee grounds alone don't make good bedding material. Wet coffee grounds, leaves, etc. are high "N" items; generally a food item. When dried out these same items would be considered high "C" items; generally considered bedding.

Good bedding would be material that holds moisture well and prevents the compost from compacting too much. Coffee grounds alone would not have these characteristics. Dry leaves make good bedding material but dry leaves alone can tend to matt together making them not so good bedding.

A good rule of thumb is to have a good mix of materials. I generally unceremoniously dump every days coffee grounds on top of one of my bins and let the worms sort things out on their own.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 2:12PM
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I want to make sure that I keep a 'clean' bed and appropriate food for them so they are fat and happy. If it starts stinking my boyfriend will probably make me get rid of them. :)

Thanks for all your help!


    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 3:26PM
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Unlikely that coffee grounds will get smelly. Leaves are great because they don't smell that offensive as they decompose either. Other food items that may smell when decomposing in large quantities can be managed by only adding what your worms are able to process in a matter of a few days. Start slow and over time you get a feel for how much you can add at a time.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 5:22PM
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I bet the boyfriend stinks before the worms do.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 8:14AM
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used coffee grounds are most definitely not bedding and are a good source of nitrogen. They are a little slow to decay, but will make a great addition to a well bedded bin. I use them in addition to my bedding and other kitchen scraps. Caution: contrary to some other opinions you may have heard, if too many coffee grounds are provided with sufficient oxygen, they will heat a bin and roast your worms. Have a very happy worming experience. steve

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 9:47PM
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