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Mar 24, 2018 2:06 PM CST
Name: tfc
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
I was eyeballing some bags of compost at a local nursery. All the ingredients listed sounded good until I got to the last one. It said 'sawdust'. I realize that ingredients are supposed to be listed by amount, so the sawdust was the smallest on the list. But why would I want sawdust in compost?

Thanks for advice.

tfc
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Mar 24, 2018 10:22 PM CST
Name: tfc
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Never mind. I did a little research and read that sawdust adds carbon to the compost.
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Mar 25, 2018 6:32 AM CST
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
Nothing scientific here on my part, but the sawdust might add a nice texture to the compost.
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Mar 25, 2018 12:41 PM CST
Name: tfc
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Haven't opened the bag yet. It's so heavy that I stopped carrying/dragging it to where it needs to go.

Will keep you posted.
Avatar for RpR
Mar 25, 2018 1:42 PM CST
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Sawdust adds bulks and as it absorbs water adds weight.
So it takes less compost to make a 40 pound bag.
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Mar 25, 2018 2:29 PM CST
Name: Jim
Northeast Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
My gardens feed my body & my soul.
Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Fruit Growers Seed Starter Canning and food preservation Region: Pennsylvania
Just want to make sure you know the source of the sawdust. Not all sawdust is created equal.
Some of our property projects at Rumble
Visit My PA Food Forest
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Mar 25, 2018 2:52 PM CST
Name: tfc
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
I'll take a picture of the list of ingredients when I get back outside

I don't think it's 40lbs. It was the end of the day and I was tired. Plus I was turning green from the pollen falling from my oak trees. Anyway, will check.
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Mar 25, 2018 5:23 PM CST
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Birds Region: Canadian Clematis Lilies Peonies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Roses Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Photo Contest Winner: 2017
While sawdust is listed as the last ingredient, thus supposedly the smallest amount, and I certainly would not return it, and I would use it, I just want to make a point about sawdust in general: It is not a good ingredient to add to any garden. Why? First off, it robs the soil of the all-important Nitrogen. The Nitrogen in your growing medium is automatically used up in breaking down the sawdust first before what is left gets to your plant roots. Secondly, in my personal experience, sawdust attracts all kinds of different "bugs"! In particular, what we used to call when we were young, cutworms, which I noted some years ago, no one else calls them that. They are, full grown, about an inch long, very thin, brown in colour, and move very slowly, like a centipede. They have a hard shell. I have upturned soil just a year ago, that I had put a fair amount of sawdust in, and it was full of all sizes of this insect, curled up, in breeding circles. Cheers!
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Mar 25, 2018 5:41 PM CST
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Birds Region: Canadian Clematis Lilies Peonies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Roses Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Photo Contest Winner: 2017
I finally after all these years, learned the correct name of the insect that we used to call "cutworms" as kids and which I referred to in my previous post. Here it is:
Thumb of 2018-03-25/fwmosher/75ec59 a Millipede! And there was another insect, and I forget what we called it, NO I just remembered, ear wigglers, actually Centipedes but it was more reddish and very fast, and I just learned that those were Centipedes! Only ever noticed the Millipedes in my sawdust laden gardens. Cheers!
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Mar 25, 2018 8:02 PM CST
Name: tfc
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
I know cutworms. Well, maybe not. I also know grubworms. However I don't know if there's a difference. Either way, I don't like 'em!

So anyway, rather than scribbling everything down,
I took a few pictures of the bag. And the bag is 1 cubic ft or 28 liters.


Thumb of 2018-03-26/tx_flower_child/3b7c56
Thumb of 2018-03-26/tx_flower_child/0b7db8
Thumb of 2018-03-26/tx_flower_child/70c586
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Mar 27, 2018 9:08 AM CST
Name: Christie
Central Ohio 43016 (Zone 6a)
Plays on the water.
Amaryllis Permaculture Sempervivums Roses Bookworm Annuals
Composter Hybridizer Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
I have read that earthworms like sawdust.
Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
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May 3, 2018 4:10 PM CST
Name: J.R. Baca
Pueblo West Co. ( High Dessert (Zone 6a)
tx-flower-child;
Hey, how's it going? I work at a maintenance yard that has all the shops needed to keep a school district going, and among them is the carpenter shop where they have a dust collector that empties into an outside bin. When I see that it is running I'll check to see what they worked on that day, if it is natural wood, I'll take it home, if it's ply or composite, I'll leave it. I use the sawdust to mix with the fresh manure I get from my neighbors, to cut back on the smell and add a little 'workability' to it.Most companies that deal in compost or manures will do this, and since it has 'soaked' in the manure, nitrogen robbing is kept at a minimum. IMO the sawdust also adds a little texture to the soil as well. That being said, I would not recommend you use straight sawdust in your garden, unless ( if you'll please SINCERELY excuse me ) you pee on it. A fellow grower does this with his sawdust and claims that he is actually loading urea nitrogen into it. Shrug! I checked with a few people that I consider experts and they all say that is what should be done if you intend to use sawdust in the garden, though 'charging' it with liquid fertilizer would also work. Go figure!

Hope this helps,
J.R.
Avatar for RpR
May 3, 2018 9:37 PM CST
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
If you add saw dust you should add nitrogen as saw dust is carbon loaded.
Urine is rich in Nitrogen.
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May 4, 2018 5:47 PM CST
Name: tfc
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Plants seem to be happy so I guess all is well. For now.
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May 5, 2018 9:43 PM CST
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
I wouldn't use fresh sawdust in a garden but, I don't see a problem with the sawdust in your compost. First it is only a small part of the total volume and second, it is composted so it should have very little if any nitrogen robbing properties.
wildflowersoftexas.com



Avatar for Dirtmechanic
Oct 5, 2018 11:10 PM CST
canada 4b (Zone 8a)
I scored a post season sale on a bunch of compressed sawdust fire blocks from tractor supply company. I took them home, opened them up and went to wet them. It took forever. They just kept absorbing more and more and more water. I never got the deep inside of the pile wet even at that. I had waaay to much to compost, so I laid it in the paths of the garden, where the thin layers got heat, water, fertilizer overspray etc. At the end of the season it had broken down pretty welI so I shoveled it out and mulched place in the yard with it. It is slooow in a compost.
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Oct 7, 2018 5:54 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
In the initial question, sawdust is listed as an ingredient in the compost, just as manure. So it's all composted. It was part of the CN balance and the final compost is just.. well.. compost. Shrug! I'm on the side with Horntoad

Yes, sawdust by itself is almost all carbon.
Plant it and they will come.
Avatar for Rubi
Dec 2, 2018 1:29 AM CST
West Central Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Hummingbirder
fwmosher said:I finally after all these years, learned the correct name of the insect that we used to call "cutworms" as kids and which I referred to in my previous post. Here it is:
Thumb of 2018-03-25/fwmosher/75ec59 a Millipede! And there was another insect, and I forget what we called it, NO I just remembered, ear wigglers, actually Centipedes but it was more reddish and very fast, and I just learned that those were Centipedes! Only ever noticed the Millipedes in my sawdust laden gardens. Cheers!

We used to call your "cutworms" wireworms. I suppose because they're hard and look like a piece of wire. I don't think they're harmful in the garden. Cutworms, on the other hand, are named for what they do in the garden: cut off young plants. They were especially destructive in my garden this spring.
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