saw dust cuttings as mulch

Asked January 21, 2017, 9:33 AM EST

I have a large quantity of ribbon/dust from cutting seasoned firewood. The wood has been down for several years, can I use it immediately as mulch?

Allegany County Maryland

1 Response

Because of the firewood's age, the dust will not be as "hot" as new sawdust and should be fine to apply near plants on the soil surface as mulch.

Sawdust breaks down and starts to decompose quickly because of the small particle size and high surface area per particle. This sawdust is not composted, i.e. reached a stable point in decomposition, so it will be using up some nitrogen to decompose and you may want to supplement it--a little--with some nitrogen if you are working it into soil and planting soon. However, if you work it into the soil and wait a month, you should be good to go.