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 Using Cedar Sawdust? 
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Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:25 am
Posts: 6
Location: Coastal SW Washington
Post Using Cedar Sawdust?
I have a pile of dry course cedar sawdust in the back of my barn that must be 10 years old but does not appear rotted in any way. I have heard that cedar contains toxins and not to use it around plants. Would the toxins be gone after a few years and if so, would it be benificial in any way to amend into garden soil or my compost?
Primarily, I wanted to put some sawdust down around my blueberry shrubs planted last fall.
Secondarily, would it be good for layering potatoes in a container (dirt at the bottom)?

Thank you for your thoughts and experiences on this.

Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:09 am

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1406
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Using Cedar Sawdust?
I don't know precisely, but I would be more likely to sprinkle a light amount throughout the yard than a large pile anywhere. This would be more like nature-other plants have to deal with a little bit of cedar chemical, but not too much in any one spot. Is anything growing around the cedar sawdust? That would be my clue.
John S

Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:40 pm

Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:25 am
Posts: 6
Location: Coastal SW Washington
Post Re: Using Cedar Sawdust?
The pile is inside at the back of the barn where nothing is nor should be growing. Today I discovered a volunteer potato growing in some compost dirt, so I moved it into a container and buried all but the top leaf in cedar shavings. I figured if I was going to just toss it, why not experiment. We will see how it does compared to what I have planted and buried in straw.

Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:24 pm

Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 428
Location: SW Washington
Post Re: Using Cedar Sawdust?
I don't know the answer to your question, but the fact that it hasn't rotted in 10 years would lead me to believe that it isn't a good soil ammendment.

Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:28 am

Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:01 am
Posts: 36
Location: S.E. Portland, Oregon
Post Re: Using Cedar Sawdust?
I found four uses for cedar sawdust on I have actually used the fire starter one, it is a good one.

Weed Suppressant
Cedar sawdust can be used on and along sidewalks, patios and driveways as a low-cost weed killer and suppressant. Cedar saw dust is natural and safe when compared to chemical treatments for killing weeds. Spreading cedar sawdust not only kills weeds, but keeps them from coming back due to the fact that the cedar creates soil conditions that are not conducive to plant growth as the cedar decays. However, cedar sawdust also kills other plants; therefore, use it selectively in places that do not affect desired plant growth.

Fire Starters
Cedar sawdust can also be used to make natural fire starters. You can create these homemade briquettes by melting candle wax in a large pot. Once the wax melts, add the cedar sawdust until the mixture becomes less workable and difficult to stir. Use a pan with muffin cups into which you pour the wax and sawdust mixture to cool and dry. The muffin cups allow the mixture to form into small briquettes. You can use these fire starters in your home fireplace or when you go camping

Spill Clean-up
Cedar sawdust is also useful for its absorbent properties and can be used to clean up spills in your garage or basement. Cedar sawdust can absorb spilled liquids such as oil or paint. Simply sprinkle the sawdust on the spill and allow 20 to 30 minutes for absorption. The cedar sawdust absorbs the liquid for an easier clean-up you can sweep into a dustpan.

Animal Uses
Cedar sawdust can be used to create animal bedding for pets and livestock. It can also serve as a litter product. The pleasant aroma of fresh cedar acts as a deodorizer. Cedar sawdust animal bedding also helps to ward off fleas and ticks. However, before using cedar sawdust for your animals, double check with your veterinarian, as cedar sawdust can cause respiratory illnesses in some animals. Cedar sawdust should not be used as bedding for scent dogs.

Read more: The Uses of Cedar Sawdust | ... wdust.html

Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:40 pm
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