Smart Uses for Sawdust Around Your Home & Garden
Sawdust, also known as wood shavings, are a very beneficial by-product of working with wood that has a variety of applications for around your home and garden. Woodworkers product mass amounts of sawdust from planning, milling, and sawing wood for furniture and creating building material. Manufacturers use this common by-product in numerous ways: to make particle board or as a fuel source for boilers. But uses of sawdust does not stop there! Homeowners can also benefit from purchasing sawdust to help around their homes and gardens.
Here are a couple of smart uses for sawdust around your home and garden!
Sawdust As Mulch
As you learn about gardening techniques and practice them yourself in your own backyard, you will find out that some plants actually like acidic soil, though most of them prefer neutral to basic soils. Huckleberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries all thrive in slightly acidic soil, which makes perfect sense to mulch them in late Fall with wood chips AND/OR sawdust that acidify the soil.
You can also enrich the soil throughout your landscape for your hydrangeas, rhododendrons, azaleas, and daffodils which will all appreciate the added acidity.
To help prevent nitrogen loss (sawdust requires nitrogen to decompose) it might be helpful to add some other type of fertilizer along with your sawdust. If you are mulching a more sensitive area, we recommend you first try wood chips instead.
Added suggestion- try adding sawdust around your strawberries to protect them from getting dirty and rotting against the bare soil.
Sawdust in Your Compost Pile
There are many questions when it comes to composting and with that comes common composting mistakes. What foods can you throw in your compost? What should you not mix in there? When/does it need to be turned? When is it ready? ETC.
You can actually add sawdust to your compost pile as long as it is from untreated wood. A best practice is to make sure you just add a little bit at a time. Check out this article to learn How to Compost with Sawdust.
If you are interested in learning some reasons you should start composting, check out Benefits of Composting from our blog page.
Another great use for sawdust is to use it as a non-slip agent. We all know Winter’s in Michigan tend to be all over the place, between the rain, ice, and snow it can get slippery, especially on steps. Using sawdust is a great alternative than using salt on ice walkways.
It is important to make sure that your sawdust is not contaminated with synthetic lubricant as that could damage sensitive floors. So, check with your supplier.
Storing Root Vegetables in Sawdust
Did you know this one? That you can store your root crops in sawdust. Everything from carrots, potatoes, parsnips, and other root vegetables can be stored in sawdust or wood shavings. Using a cardboard or wooden box, place shavings in the bottom, top with a single layer of vegetables, make sure they are not touching. Then add more sawdust and another layer or vegetables. Keep doing this until the box is full or not too heavy to move. Once filled, store the box in a cool place in the basement or garage and enjoy your harvest all winter long!
Clean Up Spill with Sawdust
If you have an oily spill or any other stubborn spill, simply sprinkle a generous amount of sawdust on the mess and let it sit for about 20-30 minutes. Then you can easily sweep it up and toss away. Sawdust is a great agent for absorbing liquid spills, which makes it a great floor cleaner for a non-carpeted area. Sprinkle it over the mess, wait for it to clump, and pick it up. That’s all there is to it!
Animal Bedding & Litter Boxes with Sawdust
Again, make sure that your sawdust is uncontaminated when using for animals. In general, sawdust is too thin for dog beddings, though pine and cedar wood chips are great for most of your furry friends and includes the advantages of repelling fleas and bedbugs. Sawdust can be used to replace your conventional cat litter and is biodegradable and compostable. Chickens love to enjoy a nice dust bath in wood shavings that have been added to dirt and wood ash.
Sawdust as a Weed Killer
If you have weeds popping up in your driveway, for example, you can try spreading sawdust from walnut wood. Black walnut is a natural weed killer but should not be used in your garden or compost. You can use it on sidewalks, stairs, and driveways. Sprinkle some of it here and there and let it get to work and keep your walkways weed-free!