Northeast Gardening forum: Sawdust: How badly did I screw up?

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Name: Rachael
NY (Zone 5a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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EyeDelight
May 1, 2016 10:24 AM CST
Edit : I think I posted this in the wrong forum, my apologies. I'm not sure how to move it >.<

The sawdust is about a year old. I have no idea what type of wood it is, I don't even really know how it got there but I think the state was doing some clean up on the edge of the road and deposited it where it was most convenient. I have some low spots where I wanted to plant some things. One planter is for mostly poppies of a few varieties, a couple lavenders, nasturtiums and chinese forget me nots. This one planter was a very low spot that collected water, so being of small means I used what I had available. Which was a little sand, a little black dirt, twigs and leaves at the bottom ( to make a base of sorts ) then sawdust mixed with a large bag of miracle grow garden soil. There's a whole layer of sawdust between the twigs/leaves and the sawdust/garden soil mix on top. I needed volume :-\ The first throw down of seeds did not take off, got eaten up/ put out too early. No harm no foul, so I have to replant the bed anyway. A picture of the poppy bed: http://garden.org/pics/2016-04-28/EyeDelight/94532c.jpg

I also used a similar mixture of sawdust, leaves, twigs and peat for my lilies. There are a few of the orientals but they are mostly ditch lillies and they were free. Again, I needed more volume than I can afford. A picture of a portion of the lily bed : http://garden.org/pics/2016-04-28/EyeDelight/014678.jpg .Yes they are up against a fence with nothing but twigs holding them there, lol. At the very least I haven't destroyed a bed of prized iris' or roses or my vegetable garden ( which is devoid of the sawdust and plants since it's too early ).

Only WAY after the fact did I look it up, partially because I didn't want to know. Well, I guess I did the worst possible thing I could have done besides use fresh sawdust. Sawdust evidently eats all the nitrogen, ugh.

Can I remedy this with raking in a bag of compost on the small bed ( where the poppy seeds etc will go ) and maybe sprinkle some blood meal on the lilly planter/border? The lilies are already planted so I don't want to burn them . I've only used basic 10-10-10 fertilizer before . Should I use something quick release or slow release or both? I read fish meal is immediate and blood meal is slow release?
[Last edited by EyeDelight - May 1, 2016 10:34 AM (+)]
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Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
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luvsgrtdanes
May 1, 2016 1:01 PM CST
You can always just add coffee grounds and they are free if you drink coffee but you can ask coffe shops to save them for you. Some farms give away free manure too. Did you do a soil test? It may be fine.
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: Marilyn
CT (Zone 5b)
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RobinD
May 1, 2016 6:15 PM CST
I would add compost like Ronnie suggested.....can't hurt.....
Name: Meredith
New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
Region: New Hampshire Cat Lover Butterflies Hummingbirder Keeper of Poultry Roses
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Meredith79
May 16, 2016 5:14 PM CST
I just want to say I don't think you put the poppy seed out too early. They usually recommend early so they even get a light snow on them is perfect. They may have been eaten by birds or washed away when it rained. I always have these problems myself.

MichaelYang
Jun 10, 2016 4:47 AM CST
I think you should do soil test first, because the experts can only suggest the best remedy. My friend was going through the same problem, I don't know what he did but he solved his problem.

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