Been Sawin' When I Shoulda Been Plantin' - Knowledgebase Question

kaysville, UT
Avatar for Heber
Question by Heber
May 12, 1998
I have very heavy clay soil in my yard, I have a LARGE bag of carpenters sawdust, I have areas
that I would like to grow things and areas that I would like to not grow things especially weeds.
Which area would be benifitted most by the sawdust, and how?

Answer from NGA
May 12, 1998
A thick layer of sawdust--especially if it is laid over several sheets of newspaper--should serve quite nicely to keep weeds down. You could also use it as a mulch around individual plants--however, because sawdust contains lots of carbon, you may want to fertilize plants with a fertilizer containing nitrogen, to help keep soil microbes happy. You could also till the sawdust into the garden. If you do this, I would wait at least 2 weeks to plant, again, to give soil microbes a chance to begin breaking down the sawdust. If you add lots of carbon-containing material to soil, you can induce a temporary nitrogen deficiency because the microbe population rises, tying up available nitrogen temporarily. Hope this helps!

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