Question Sawdust on the garden?

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by stevo, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    Does anyone know if sawdust is ok to use on the garden? I make a fair bit of it and usually throw it out but I'm wondering if it could be useful for something.

    It's mostly Cypress

    cheers
     
  2. Letsgokate

    Letsgokate Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Think they use it in chicken coups in they laying boxes. Can go in compost as long as it's not treated, I believe.
     
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  3. Sasha Bushell

    Sasha Bushell Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    My dad has used it heaps in his garden.. untreated though
     
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  4. Silver Egg

    Silver Egg Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    it's a great way to fend off snails, just put a circle of it around a plant. Try to not get it wet when watering the plant.

    No negative experiences, but try to stay away from industrial sawdust from glued multiplex (of which we have tons)

    it's no different than using mulched wood
     
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  5. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Agree agree agree! Go for it Stevo :)

    You may have to add a little nitrogen to the soil compensating for it being used to break down the sawdust but my woodchip experiment in the vegetable garden is going really well so I expect sawdust would be good too.
     
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  6. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    cheers all. I'll chuck some around in some test areas. I was thinking it might have some kind of weird bad effect on the soil throwing everything out of balance.
     
  7. Sasha Bushell

    Sasha Bushell Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Maybe just small doses? Or throw it in your compost first.. :)
     
  8. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Use it to line your garden paths, then at years end when partly composted, sprinkle on a heap of blood & bone, dig it up & mulch your beds with it. Then put down fresh sawdust on the paths.
    Some timbers are not good for plants as they have growth inhibitors in the sap like some hardwoods, so best to partly compost first on the garden paths.

    I use camphor laurel shavings in my chook pen for bedding which goes into the compost as a major element about 4times a year. I also use camphor sawdust well wetted & partly composted in the compost too as the 'brown' ingredient. Then I add same volume of fresh horse manure for the green part if I don't have chipped green shrub prunings. I get all the camphor stuff for free in those huge 1ton bags. The Men's Shed also uses other timbers sometimes so it's never 100% CL.
     
  9. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member

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    What I have been advised against was the use of sawdust within soil mixes. Fine on top, not the best to alter the nature of the soil. I saw that in planting instructions from Garden Express (great service, by the way) when I bought four fruiting trees from them, transported to moist sawdust material.
     
  10. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    The thing about wood materials is that's what most 'garden soil' or 'landscaper's soil' is made from these days.
    Pine or hardwood bark or timber fines composted. The fines are produced by hammermilling the wood components.
    Its the fact that if you use sawdust you must compost it very well first with lots of nitrogenous input to fuel the composting process. Otherwise the wood material will steal the nitrogen from the rest of the ingredients constituting the soil or the fertilizer you put on the soil. So your plants will not thrive as they will have no nitrogen to grow with. Also you have to keep feeding the process for maybe a year or more once you have added the composted material to your soil or other compost because the wooden material keeps breaking down until it is pretty much gone.
    But never fear, that's the process that is always going on in soil. Always the various vegetive components of soil are always breaking down until they only comprise of their base minerals & trace elements. The leaves or dead branches drop & break down. Natural process.
    I use sawdust & shavings all the time but I make sure to use lots of blood & bone &/or chook manure/bedding.
    Landscapers who make their own 'soil' will use urea to feed & heat the composting process.
    Depending on your natural soil, wood additives may be helpful or may not.
     
  11. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Time usually makes good soil ;)
     
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