Sawdust in the yard - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 9 Old 08-05-2008, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Sawdust in the yard

Has anyone ever spread sawdust in the yard? I have buckets full of fresh maple sawdust, and by the way I see it, it would be another way of holding moisture in the grass while it breaks down into mulch.

Are there any downsides to this other than slivers in your toes?
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-05-2008, 11:54 PM
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I probably would use it to mulch around trees and bushes rather than spread it over the grass.
If there is any potters (not potheads), in the area, they may want the sawdust for a low temperature firing technique called raku. Check to see if there is anywhere near you that makes ceramics or check the local art galleries, they will tell you. You dont even have to give them clean sawdust. I nail or two heats up also in the fire of the dust and gives figure and color to the pottery.
Just a suggestion because that is what I used to do when I generated a lot of sawdust and woodturning shavings. The local Art Center used to come by once a week and take all my dust and shavings.

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post #3 of 9 Old 08-06-2008, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Tony B View Post
I probably would use it to mulch around trees and bushes rather than spread it over the grass. ............

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Dido I agrea with Tony B on mulching it. When I get around to cleaning up the floor in the shop, I pour the sawdust around the flower bed. Because I cut a lot of treated wood the sawdust doubles as a bug repellant.

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post #4 of 9 Old 08-06-2008, 03:25 AM
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Fresh saw dust will suck all the nitrogen out of the soil as it breaks down. If you could compost it for about a year it would then be ok to put on your yard. Lots of sites on the web to learn about composting. I would never put treated saw dust anywhere in my yard, but that's just me.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-06-2008, 06:47 AM
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I put all of my sawdust/chips on my girls playground. This actually helps me with a few things, 1. I have somewhere to dump my sawdust, 2 the playground doesn't get muddy when it rains and the girls come in cleaner than they used to after playing and 3. depending on what wood I have been using, their playground gets a new smell and look. Now if I could just get my dog (Hank) to quit rolling around in it he might stay a little cleaner.

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post #6 of 9 Old 08-06-2008, 07:16 AM
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I generate planer and saw chips by the gazzoodle. I put them around the play area in my yard to cushion the impact of unexpected falls. The grandchildren don't seem to be having any adverse reactions but I must add that NO PT wood is involved. Just a lot of red oak, some walnut and some cherry. Some thought has been given to the increased likelyhood that this generation might include the artisan to continue my legacy (such as it is) into the future as a result of their early and continued exposure to the wood.


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post #7 of 9 Old 08-06-2008, 11:58 AM
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It's perfectly fine to put sawdust on the yard as long as you keep in mind these things:
  1. As wood decomposes it takes nitrogen from the soil. Once it has decomposed it releases that nitrogen back into the soil, along with the nitrogen that was originally in the wood. (Net nitrogen gain.)
  2. All parts of a walnut tree contain a toxin that will kill or inhibit certain plants. (Especially broadleaf plants.) There are sources on the web that can id which plants are immune and which aren't.
  3. Do not put sawdust over 1/2" thick or it can form a crust and smother out the grass.
  4. Some people have an allergic reaction to certain types of wood.

Using sawdust will result in a soil that is richer, has more organic matter and retains moisture better.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-06-2008, 01:21 PM
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The stuff you buy at Wally World, HD, Lowe's, etc. are mainly from big sawmills. A friend of mine was the Operations Manager for one of these places. Basically, they would haul the bark, sawdust, etc. and make certain mixes and grinds of certain "stuff" in huge piles behind the plant. These would be composted for a period and then hauled in to be packaged. The plant was right across the highway from a pretty large sawmill operation. (Mostly pine and cypress with some oak mixed in.)

So... with that said, the composting idea is certainly recommended for the reasons mentioned above.

Back then I was able to get LOTS of the stuff for free...

I cut that board three times and it's STILL too short!!!...
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-06-2008, 02:03 PM
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I agree with all of the above but W A R N I N G
Do not put sawdust close to the house. It will attract termites !


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