View Full Version : cedar mulch

May 10th, 2005, 09:10 AM
I have bags of red cedar shavings and sawdust, from planing logs. Can this be put on the compost pile or used as mulch around plants? If so, which plants? Some of the cedar is aged and some is still very aromic. Thanks

May 11th, 2005, 02:02 PM
Somewhere I heard that cedar is potentially toxic to some plants. Allelopathic is the technical term, I think, and it's a ploy some plants use to keep the competition at bay. Walnut trees are notorious for this, and it's (old) conventional organic wisdom that some plants benefit each other growing in close proximity while others do the opposite. Anyway in the case of cedar, it was just a word-of-mouth warning I heard somewhere. So I dunno if it's true or not, but I'd like to--we have really nice leaf-mould under our cedar trees but I hesitate to use any in the garden until I'm sure it's safe...


May 15th, 2005, 06:12 PM
My local garden store expert told me the same thing about cedar mulch being toxic to some plants. I'm thinking that if this is the case, then it would be a great mulch to use at the very edge of a garden to keep grass and weeds from invading... or perhaps on either side of a walk way. I'd avoid using it directly over the root system of any plants though. Another pluss to cedar is it's pest repelling properties!

May 15th, 2005, 10:05 PM
I read that it should never be used on EDIBLE plants, like veggies. Yet on most non-edibles its fine. And it does repell pests!

May 16th, 2005, 02:35 AM

Here is some reserch I found on the subject.

May 16th, 2005, 02:53 AM

More info

Also, if cedar mulch is bad, why is cedar wood recommended for raised beds?

May 17th, 2005, 09:57 AM
Well, thanks everyone, as I also had heard many times that cedar is toxic to veggies. But, after reading carefully about the research done in the suggested Missouri article, it proved to be untrue. The ph was 6.0 and the plants thrived with no noticable harm to them. Thanks so much for the help and I hope this will help everyone else too. Thanks everyone!!

May 25th, 2005, 09:44 PM
OK, I put cedar in my tomato bed and prayed. Will let you know if I loose them all or they make it ok. Thanks everyone. Sky

May 31st, 2005, 01:43 PM
Well, I have been using a combination of pine shavings and cedar shavings for bedding for my Nigerian Dairy Goats. Mostly pine with some cedar to help keep away some pests with the milder tempts here in the south. The dairy goats spend a great deal outside so not a problem; however I don't use on the babies since they like to taste everything! hard on the liver and kidneys if eaten. But I have used this combination for bedding, mulch and compost for about 2 years and have no problem. I don't really have a problem with weeds in the garden, but the grass, barley, and other plants all grow very well from this dairy goat-pine-cedar mix. It works here!

June 1st, 2005, 08:36 PM
Jodi, I also use the cedar shavings in my hen house, and rabbit hutch. So far, it has not hurt the tomatoes, so I went ahead and put it in more of the gardens. It is raining as we speak, so i will know in a few days if this has been a good or bad idea. However, I think it is a good one. We are almost neighbors, as I am in Ky.!

June 2nd, 2005, 08:17 AM
Almost neighbors. . .I live in Eastern TN in what we call the knobs near the mtns. Not as cool as the mtns, and weather a little more unpredictable really. You are a little farther north, what do you have growing in your garden now?
I use to raise Netherland Dwarf rabbits? what kind to you have?

As far as the cedar shavings, I use about 2/3rds pine shavings to 1/3 cedar shavings. If low on quality pine, I'll go more 1/2 to 1/2. Two fold, don't want it to be too toxic to the animals if they choose to nibble and the cedar is half again more on the cost. Once the bedding starts breaking down (in just a couple days) either in the compost pile or using 8-10 inches of mulching in and around the garden I can't even tell there is cedar it the mix. Maybe the animal manure helps the breaking down better.

again, thanks to all for sharing. I know it is an encouragement to me. I'm originally from up north where the areas were more like communities working together with the fruit and vegetable gardening. Maybe because we learned a little from the Amish. . .I don't know, but I miss it. This helps it feel more like I have gardening friends right across the fence. :o)

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

June 7th, 2005, 08:57 PM
Jodi, Yup, we aren't very near to each other... I have 1 rabbit, who I got when we moved in here and I didn't have a compost pile going yet. Just couldn't get myself to throw out the veggie garbage!! I have about 1/2 my garden covered in cedar shavings now. Doesn't seem to be bothering anything! We garden organically and raise heirloom veggies. This is only our 4th year here. We bought 24 acres when we retired and began clearing a spot for our cabin. We are over old fluorspar mines and have very poor soil. We built a cedar cabin and bagged about 35 trash bags of shavings from the logs as we planed them.
We have expanded this year, as we cleared trees from another little area. We have 5 types of tomatoes, 3 bush and 2 pole beans, 4 types squash and 2 type cucs. Not having much luck with the melons. Our poor clay soil is not ideal. But we are working on compost. How about you? What are you growing?

June 8th, 2005, 08:20 AM
It actually has been a very interesting year for us. We are renting and pursuing another place to live. Relocating out of the area is an option if my husband finds a different job. So far not.

Your place sound like what we are looking for. Acreage out in the country. Either we build or cabin already existing. Hard to find nice chunks of land any more.

Wanting a place to have small orchard to have small fruits and treed types. And of course gardening space. And beleive me I know all about that clay! It will turn out to be a blessing in a few years. As I call it, part of the character develop program. :o)

So I have very little growing right now. Have arugula, red dandelion, Merlot and red sails lettuce, red mustard, radishes, carrots, etc. . . .all these surviving this barely winter we had. some starting to bolt now though. Have a few pepper plants and probably half a dozen tomato plants, potatoes and sweet potatoes started, garlic, shallots. . .I'm sure I'm missing something! Seems naked out there though with what I like to have growing. Always a blessing to have all you can eat when in production, some to save until next years plants kick in and I also like to push the seasons as much as possible. Push it and push it! What does it hurt!? You may end up with a couple extra months of fresh produce right out the back or front door. Yum yum!

Oh yes, I did forget those herbs. . . couple varieties of basil and thyme and rosemary that seems to be thriving on this strange weather we are having. . . . Was that winter? Is it spring? Is it really June? All part of the adventure of country living and growing plants! :o)

I also have a growing passion for the unusual and colorful. Being an artist I like color. . .so anything with unusual color I just might have it growing, or in the seed packs in my freezer for next growing season.

Past time to milk the does and feed the kids (goats)!

June 14th, 2005, 09:55 AM
Jodi, I went ahead and layed down newspaper around most of my plants and then covered with a couple inches of cedar. Seems to be working well, although we are having SO much rain.... and it sure looks pretty too!!
What kind of work are you looking for? Land is not "cheap" anywhere, but it is still reasonable here. Always looking for a fellow organic gardener~
Picked my first wax beans this morning... but the heat and rain is taking a toll on other things. Having trouble with a snake in my hen house... can't seem to catch him. Any suggestions?

June 16th, 2005, 06:42 AM
Yes, such strange and usual weather we are having!
more than normal I think. . .but then again, what is normal?! One reason I look for heirloom seed that can stand up to a variety of conditions. And then between the weather and myself they are tested to their limits. Seems to do very well. Although with all the rains that came at once last summer my Amana Orange and Black Krim tomato fruit seem to suffer alot from minor cracking. . .but oh so yum! Hmmmm. . .can almost taste them now!
So I"m not limiting myself from these varieties, but adding ones that seem to be less prone to cracking in adverse weather conditions.

Job? looking in the accountanting/CPA realm with location that would be good for gardening in veggies, small fruits, and fruit trees. Most areas need some uplift in soil quality so not worried about that aspect. One aspect I prefer is that the land is not in the center of GMO territory!

So what is growing amoungst your cedar mulching?

Oh yes. . .your snake. Have you seen him?
Would a cat help?
Have you figured out where he is entering?
Is he only after your eggs?
daytime or night time attacks?

have a great day!

June 21st, 2005, 09:54 AM
have now cedared everything in sight! around all my cucs and squash too.
Some of them I didn't take the time to put down newspaper and I am sure I will wish I had! But it also makes the garden look so pretty!! The weather has turned hot and dry..... never know what you will get. Some of the squash blossoms are just falling off. Don't know too much about this... they appear to be male blossoms.... plenty of bees.... any ideas? The snake was getting into the hen house from a tunnel underneath. Just suddenly stopped.
Don't know why. Maybe the guineas scared it away?

June 21st, 2005, 03:22 PM
It is all an adventure! Is it not!?
Didn't see my snake but today found a snake skin about 5 feet behind the house--atleast 1 1/2 feet. With the weird weather it was decaying quickly so couldn't really tell a scale pattern. Glad the snake hasn't been bothering your chickens anymore Skywalker.

Trying to turn hot and dry hear too. However yesterday we had a bad storm come through. Lots of lightening and saw alot of debree, limbs, and some trees down when went out for hay yesterday.

I'm wondering if anyone has used cocoa bean mulch before?

August 2nd, 2005, 11:19 AM
Jodi, and everyone else who helped. Because of the odd weather we are experiencing this summer, I really don't know if the cedar shavings have been a help or a hinderance. As usual the melon are not making it. The squash and cucs are not up to par, but the tomatoes are doing ok. Pulled up my beans and planted new ones. Rust got most of them, and beetles got the rest. EXCEPT my long red asparagus pole beans!! Nothing bothers them and they just give and give and give.