PDA

View Full Version : Sawdust as mulch


digginMO
April 2nd, 2010, 07:38 PM
Can I use sawdust, aged a few years. I was hoping to put down weed guard and then put a layer of 3-4 inches of sawdust on top. I was wanting to use in around grapes, fruit trees, hazel nuts, regular trees, some clematis, and roses. No where that I will be working, tilling it into the soil. thanks

onesojourner
April 2nd, 2010, 08:03 PM
It will probably just break down a little sooner than mulch.

Amei
April 2nd, 2010, 08:07 PM
Can I use sawdust, aged a few years. I was hoping to put down weed guard and then put a layer of 3-4 inches of sawdust on top. I was wanting to use in around grapes, fruit trees, hazel nuts, regular trees, some clematis, and roses. No where that I will be working, tilling it into the soil. thanks

Sure you can. If the sawdust is from boards and not from panel products it should be fine. If it is from panels e.g. plywood, fiberboard or chipboard, I would get rid of it. Those products have all kind of weird chemicals in them.

If it is still not decomposed, it will rob a little nitrogen from the soil. You can always add a little blood meal or fish emulsion around the plants.

Longtail
April 2nd, 2010, 08:58 PM
I used it around all the ribes and elderberries, it was rotted away in 2 years. I did add a bit of store bought fertil;izer too.

SpaceAge
April 2nd, 2010, 09:12 PM
CAUTION !

Depends on the wood ...:rolleyes:

some woods contain a high amount of Tanin as an example Mesquite lumber contains a very high tanin content , it is extremely toxic to plant growth. :mad:

even best case , it will suck nitrogen out of your soil like crazy ... :eek:

I would add it to other stuff in a mulch pit or compost bin , knowing up front that it is a Nitrogen eater ...

you need to research the lumber in question and act accordingly

camochef
April 2nd, 2010, 09:24 PM
I would advise against it! I know a guy that used oak sawdust around his fruit trees and killed every tree. Many woods are toxic, walnut will not only kill whats growing but will prevent many things from growing for years to come. Many other woods used in cabinet shops are quite toxic, from mahogany to exotics from Africa. If there is plywood or melamine sawdust in it your talking chemicals that you have no idea what compounds are incorporated into it. Same goes for various finishes. I worked for a cabinet shop that used to dump sawdust from dust collector over the bank and nothing ever grew in that area.

digginMO
April 3rd, 2010, 03:49 PM
Ok, the wood is oak with some pine, but it is well decomposed. It is about 15 years old. I just want to use it as something I can put ontop of my weed guard. Thanks for the help everyone

mudhill
April 3rd, 2010, 05:28 PM
Can I use sawdust, aged a few years. I was hoping to put down weed guard and then put a layer of 3-4 inches of sawdust on top. I was wanting to use in around grapes, fruit trees, hazel nuts, regular trees, some clematis, and roses. No where that I will be working, tilling it into the soil. thanks

I use aged white oak saw dust in all my raised beds when i started them,if it is aged ,i doubt that it would rob any nitrogen from soil,atleast i never seen it.
i question the weed guard barrier,,it may stop weeds for a while,,but how is the saw dust gonna build up your soil with that junk between soil and sawdust ?
when i was a groundskeeper i would cuss that stuff when it came to fresh planting of flower beds,when you pull it up the ground looked sterile under it,when ever i pulled it up ,i never replaced it.

FritzDaKat
April 3rd, 2010, 08:01 PM
Hey Diggin, heres an idea, if theres much concern, keep it in a pile for a few more years, somewhere you can keep it a bit moist and just dump a bunch of Oyster mushrooms on it. Once they get done decomposing it for ya' you should be good to go I'd think. And you'll have some tasty mushrooms as a result of the process provided ya' pluck them while young and in their pre-woody stage.

stone
April 4th, 2010, 09:22 AM
I've used aged sawdust, fresh sawdust (lots of times) with nary a problem.

The fact that it absorbs nitrogen the first year, means that it prevents weeds & keeps the ones that do germinate small....My secret is adding lots of compost / manure first....

In my garden, there's a need to reapply every year, the hot southern sun burns the organic materials out of the soil.

Oh yeah, as mudhill stated, you might want to avoid those weed barriers... I hate working in gardens where those have been used... They seem like a good idea... I haven't found that to be the case.

Eccentric Follies
April 4th, 2010, 10:06 AM
15 years sitting, it should be ok to use. But you do know that weeds will grow in it, right? The weed barrier will only make them easy to pull, not stop them from sprouting. Maybe instead of the barrier, you could use multiple layers of newspaper and then the sawdust. Of course you'll be putting more down in a couple of years, but you can just put it over what's already down. You won't have to take it up if you change your garden layout, and the soil won't look sterile under it.

digginMO
April 4th, 2010, 06:41 PM
Thanks everyone. I will try the newspaper in spots I might change the layout. I am really just wanting to put something down around the bases of my trees, grapes, etc. to keep the mower and weedeater away from the bases of them. Otherwise I get grass that cannot be pulled growing up under them.