Really interesting email from Matt:
I had been using primarily coir and peat moss as bedding and it’s
become obvious that my system is too anaerobic (I still have worms but
definitely not the pound I started with).
I have a bunch of paper towel rolls lying around and it occurred to me
that if you flatten the paper towel roll and then cut slim sections of
it horizontally (so as to create ‘rings’ or ‘donuts’…a picture would
help here!) what you end up with is cardboard that can never really
flatten out since it is a loop/ring shape. After wetting this all down
and realizing it probably would aerate too well, I added in some
shredded egg carton cardboad to fill in some of the gaps but still
allow for plenty of airflow.
So far this seems to have really lightened the bedding and creates
excellent aeration. Have you ever done this or heard of others doing
it and what do you think of it?
That is a really cool concept – I appreciate you sharing that with me (and the rest of the RWC reader community). While I’ve certainly used plenty of paper towel and toilet paper rolls for bedding over the years (for some ‘classic RWC’ – literally the second post written on this blog – be sure to check out “That’s How I Roll“), I usually just tear it up like any other bedding material. I’ve never thought to cut it into rings like that (nor have I heard of anyone else doing that).
Adding the additional absorbent bedding was likely a good idea since, as you point out, the rings alone might provide almost “too much” air flow. In a sense, these rings could almost be considered what I refer to as a “secondary bedding” – yet one that likely offers more water-retention than some of the others (such as straw).
Anyway – it would be great if you can keep us posted on your progress with the bedding rings. I plan to test this out myself as well.