peanut shells for bedding?

escha(z7 SC)November 11, 2006

Hi, folks. Any problems using peanut shells (previously roasted, not salted of course) for bedding? Must they be crushed?--they seem sharp & hard. How do you crush them?

Also, they do not seem to soften even after soaking for several days--that is, they can go from sopping wet to dry without ever being nicely damp. Does this make it harder to control the moisture level in the bin?

Thanks for any assistance.


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squeeze(z8 BC)

not a good material for worms - way too coarse and dry, worms require a pretty high, constant moisture level and their bite-size is wee little pieces - you'd hafta almost powder them to make them useable in a bin, and then they still wouldn't be "bedding"

try shredded paper for a base material


    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 11:49PM
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I'll tell you my experiences with peanut hulls. I had a local restaurant that had peanuts on the table and encouraged patrons to throw the hulls on the floor. Well I was new to this game and asked them to save me some. I got a garbage bag full and thought I had hit the lotto for worm food. Of course they had salt on them, and I spent the better part of two days rinsing them in the bathtub. One of my friends observed this and suggested that this kind of behavior probably had something to do with the fact that I was "single". I think she used some kind of word like weird or eccentric. I can now understand when some of you married "wormers" point out that your spouses sometimes deny knowing you when you are out in public with them. But, back to my peanut shell story. I was real happy when I added some of them to my can of worms and sat back expecting to look in there the next day and see them magically turned into beautiful castings maybe in less than 24 hours. Well you might notice that I now use the word expecting, since the facts turned out different. I noticed when I looked at them the next day that I actually thought I saw 4 or 5 worms acting like ants and combining their efforts to push some of the shells aside in an attempt to get to more desirable food. I didn't tell you that I had also spent a good deal of time in my prep stage running these shells through my blender attempting to make them smaller where my worms could get them in their little mouths. I can also tell you that this operation was not very successful even after I had spent another day or so drying them before the blender operation. The shells tended to just fly around in the blender and obviously not come in a lot of contact with the blades. Maybe at this point, I should have took this as a hint that the worms would not have much luck in reducing their size either. Then I had another brillant idea that possibly they needed more of the shells to be more attractive to the worms so I added more to my bins. At this point in my life I had not heard of the expession that the definition of STUPID is making the same mistake over and over again and expecting a different result. Nonetheless, two years later, after sifting my finished castings through a 1/4 inch hardware cloth and adding what doesn't go through the screen back into my bin I still have peanut shells that are difficult to tell the difference in them in my bin from the way they looked when I so proudly put them in there. In conclusion, I have become wiser and would not recommend using them in your bin for any reason.(food or bedding)

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 6:15PM
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escha(z7 SC)

Thanks, Bill & Harvey. I'll pass on the peanut hulls. Harvey--just think of it as going boldly on ahead so no one else will have to!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 2:13PM
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pablo_nh(z4/5 NH)

You could precompost (hot-compost them for a week or 2) them first.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 3:06PM
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I am a newby with vermicomposting and hot composting but pablo nh,I still doubt that they would get fully composted even if you put them in your compost pile. I dont know for sure though because I have never composted them but they look so hard and brittle.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 5:25PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Just curious, what does the food industry do with peanut shells?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 12:53PM
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pablo_nh(z4/5 NH)

If it lived- it will compost. I have composted deer, woodchucks, squirrels- bones, teeth, and all. No problem in a hot pile. Mix the shells with a green, keep the pile larger than a cu. yd., keep it moist all the way through- and it will be rocking at 150F in a day or so (weather permitting), and the shells will (I'd guess) be mush in a week or less.

You could use them as a mulch, too. Just don't toss them out- it's OM.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 1:30PM
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squeeze(z8 BC)

peanut shells are used in the manufacture of plastic, wallboard, abrasives, and fuel - also used to make cellulose [used in rayon and paper] and mucilage glue


    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 9:15PM
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Harvey, that's so funny!

My biggest blooper was putting birdseed in the bin.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 6:36PM
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Like Harvey, I too thought that peanut shells would be good worm bedding. Over here we can get peanuts which are steamed in their shells and sold as snacks. It was a handful of these steamed peanut shells that I used. After a few months I noticed that they absolutely did not change. So I picked them out and put them in my regular compost heap. When I harvested the compost six months later, I found that the shells had not broken down. Since it was only a handful, I just left them in the compost.
So, precomposting and hot composting may not work.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 9:49PM
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sorry to bump a long dead thread... but...

i picked up about a pound of worms from a friend who is an environmental scientist... an experiment had run it's course and he gave me the "control" group... i started them out in a plastic tote, and eventually ordered a Worm Factory and 2lbs of worms (more the merrier right? :) )

i had read on one of the worm farm websites that peanut shells were great bedding and the worms would love 'em...
not sure which website it was.... so i added a few handfulls of salt free roasted peanut shells...

they haven't been in there long.... they have softened and discolored.... but haven't broken down yet... neither have crushed eggshells placed in at the same time...
so this thread is disturbing me a bit....

anyone else have experience with peanut shells in bins?
roasted, raw, salted, not salted....

when you by roasted peanuts... are the shells coated with some sort of wax or soaked in a preservative?

maybe boiling the shells for 10 minutes or so would ease the breakdown process?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 1:23PM
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leearnold(z5 In.)

About the only thing I would do with peanut shells is put them in bins outdoors and treat them the same way I do leaves. I pile leaves in a 4'x4'x4' bin and leave them for a year or two. Unlike my regular compost bins, these are NOT covered and so they get the rain and snow. After a couple of years, it is the MOST WONDERFUL compost! Yea!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 6:07PM
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