Best uses of sawdust in gardening...

greenepastures(9)August 7, 2012

Just got a big bag of sawdust for real cheap....sawdust of pine heat-dried in a kiln...the gentleman at the feed store reccomended that it be used as mulch or composted. It smells wonderful and is high in carbon. Any suggestions on how to use this?

Remember now...this is my first year of gardening so I guess Im still in the learn-by-trial mode....

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
toxcrusadr(Zone 6a - MO)

Sawdust is a super-brown so it needs lots of greens to make compost. You can mix it with greens (grass clippings, fresh manure, etc.) and make a compost pile. Or keep it next to your pile and use it to layer over kitchen scraps or other greens as you add them. Or it works great as a mulch on paths as is, or you can mix with greens and use as a mulch around plants to both feed and mulch. Sawdust will pack down and can shed water so you have to be careful using it alone as mulch.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 11:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Actually, the leachate from any acid-based mulch is generally not substantial enough to make any significant alteration to soil pH. In already acidic soils, no problem but if attempting to increase acidity via a sawdust mulch, don't expect much.

Because of its typically fine texture, sawdust can easily crust over and become hydrophobic or repel water. That makes its value as a mulch questionable. Either work it into the soil (with a sufficient nitrogen source to offset) or add to the compost. The compost would be my preference.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 5:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Find a horse stable that would use it and trade it for a truckload or two of manure/sawdust.



    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 5:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Love the smell of fresh sawdust! I don't even mind shoveling it into my pick-up! Can't beat the free price. I've used sawdust/fine wood shavings for years to make compost. The stuff I get is not kiln dried. Even when the greens (mostly kitchen scraps) are no longer identifiable and the whole thing looks like brown mulch I use it as a top dressing. The few times I've mixed it with soil in planting holes I also add alfalfa pellets to balance and prevent N deficiency as I'm never sure it's really finished.

Fresh grass clippings work well with sawdust. If it doesn't heat quickly add more clippings until it does. I've found it takes a high percentage of greens to begin decomp and also needs to be kept moist.

Right now I've started a new pile using horse manure with sawdust. Probably won't be ready until spring in zone 3.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 6:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lloyd has a great idea! Now that is thinking like a farmer!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 7:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

0.0 who the hell buys saw dust? all big hardware stores/small ones too give it away for free and lots of it. i got 4 bags that weigh like 100 pounds each.

i would NOT use saw dust as mulch did it once in my container garden least to say it matted down, prevented water from getting to the roots and just a whole lot of problems. I would compost it. i am sure some people had experience with using it as mulch my experience was just bad.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 2:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had a friend, who lived in the North Carolina Mountains.
Up there they have a one horse saw mill in every other hollow.
So he used the sawdust around his BlueBerries, up to six inches deep, at times. He had great plant & tons of fruit.
The sawdust rotted on the bottom & did not repel water or burn the plant. The bottom limbs even rooted, He cut a few for me to bring back home & I still have them.
I had heard that the green sawdust would hurt the plants.
When I told him he laugh & said "Do the plant look hurt to you?"

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 5:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Pee on it. Then throw it in the compost. Sawdust works very well in a composting toilet.

Or as Loyd suggested, let the horses add their "greens" to it.

I have used sawdust as a base for new compost piles too. I figure it soaks up a lot of leachate. Usually I use cardboard. Multiple layers of cardboard break down faster than sawdust at the bottom fo the pile.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 11:14AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Questions about gritty mix
Hi folks, I am a long time gardener but new to the...
hsw (zone 6, Boston area)
Unique Problem with smell
I have what I would consider a rather unique problem...
Need advice for filling a hole
Hi everyone, I have a 3 foot wide by about 1.5 foot...
arlene_82 (zone 6 OH)
rescuing a defunct flower bed
We bought our house a year ago and now want to replant...
Need advice on watering succulents with new soil
I recently began using soil-less soil, as has been...
Sponsored Products
Tropical Hour Outdoor Flag
$16.99 | zulily
Delfina Indoor Rug - 27" x 45"
Grandin Road
Arbor Wooden Arch Trellis
Red Cedar English Garden Patio Chair
Master Mark Plastics 40 ft. Terrace Board - 1432-4073
$28.99 | Hayneedle
International Caravan Maui Outdoor Loveseat,Chairs and Coffee Table Set
Modern Indoor/Outdoor American Rug Craftsmen Rugs Sargent Butter Pecan 2 ft. 1
$99.97 | Home Depot
Artemis Pendant by WAC Lighting
$279.00 | Lumens
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™