It has been months since I put the worms in my pot. A bug ecosystem has been established and I bet those worms are reproducing fast. The bugs mostly come for the food I give them. Only a few like a red queen ant(which shouldn't be a fire ant but still, why red and not black?) would bother the worms and even then, I am sure the worms eat those as they are eating soil.

Every time a batch is close to fully decomposed(so about every 2 weeks, longer for leaves), I take a sniff of the soil to make sure there isn't too much nitrogen. If it doesn't smell earthy(In my case I don't get an ammonia smell, thank god), I add more carbon along with the nitrogen or if it is too strong, stop the nitrogen. These past few times I fed them, I gave them carbon and only carbon in the form of leaves(both dry from last year and fresh from fallen branches) because the nitrogenous smell was too strong. Thankfully it is getting back to an earthy smell so I should be able to put fruit and vegetable scraps in there soon.

Anyway, I have been keeping the large branches that fall off near my pot but haven't actually put any in there. I was wondering if I could safely add those branches if I break them into reasonable size sticks. I mean the wood could add some good nutrients and high carbon at the same time. Plus, there has to be a way to decompose them(not all of them of course, I will be keeping some of the bigger ones for making fires).

I don't have a wood chipper so that is out. Is it safe for me to add sticks of reasonable size whole and allow the bugs and worms to decompose them or is it too risky(mostly dead wood I am collecting if you need to know that with a tiny bit of young green wood)?

I have looked it up and can't find anything on the safety or risks of giving sticks to worms.

  • 3
    Worms cannot break down wood, by and large, its fungal activity that deals with wood.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 22:25
  • But I don't have any fungi in there other than possibly some spores from the woods because I don't want fungi to steal my nutrients. But other than those spores(which I have never seen sprout in my pots) I have no fungi in there precisely because fungi tend to steal instead of give.
    – Caters
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 22:30
  • 1
    I would be surprised if you don't have any fungi in there - it would be nearly impossible to keep it out. It just might not be a variety that you'd notice. Also the fungi are important in the decomposition and nutrient cycling. They can unlock nutrients that bacteria cannot. They can also kill and "eat" undesirable nematodes, which might be advantageous.
    – That Idiot
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 23:08
  • As I understand it, you have a sort of wormery in a pot - if that's right, it means you can't add wood to the pot for the worms, its no use to them. If it were a compost heap, then you could,, although woody bits take an awful long time to rot down even in a compost pile.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 23:20
  • Even if fungi are helpful that way, they steal nutrients from plants to grow and spread fast. They are plant parasites. And just like how you wouldn't want to be infected with a protozoan or a nematode and have parasite problems, plants don't like fungi most of the time. In fact they have molecular anti bacterial, anti viral, and antifungal defense.
    – Caters
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


Worms will not eat the wood, they will devour mushy waste like leftover food and fruits, certainly not wood.

I suggest that you keep the worm bin for mushy stuffs and the smaller wood branches for mulching and regular nitrogen/carbon composting.

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