View Full Version : Sawdust as a weed barrior

01-28-2003, 11:03 PM
My neighbor's brother believes in natural landscaping. He's put down about 120 yards of sawdust on his sister's beds, as a weed barrior. He'll mulch it when he's done.

01-28-2003, 11:05 PM

01-28-2003, 11:07 PM
she must reallllllllllly hate weeds:blob2:

01-28-2003, 11:15 PM
I know the termites will love that. want have too chew. just fly in and start eating.

01-28-2003, 11:19 PM

so funny:cry:

01-28-2003, 11:45 PM
I told you that he's into natural landscaping. If termites come, I'm sure he has a Anteater available.

mdb landscaping
01-29-2003, 08:00 AM
looks like he even buried a few plants with it. its piled awfully high, i hope it settles more. and like said before, i think the termites will have a field day if they find that.

01-29-2003, 09:11 AM
This can be a very big problem (using sawdust as a mulch). What is important in selecting a mulch is the ratio of Carbon to Nitrogen or what is referred to as the C:N ratio. The microbes that consume organic matter use Nitrogen in the decomposition process. When the C:N ratio is at or below 30:1, enough Nitrogen exist in the mulch that the overall Nitrogen returned to the soil exceeds the Nitrogen consumed by the microbes during decomposition (of the mulch). Now, sawdust will have a C:N ratio of around 400:1. The Carbon content of sawdust is really high and the overall affect is that significant amounts of Nitrogem will be pulled from the soil during the decomposition of all that sawdust. Your neighbor's ornamentals are going to suffer a sever Nitrogen deficiency unless they add Nitrogen in sufficient quantities to those piles of sawdust. Good luck.


01-29-2003, 09:40 AM
I think your ? was answered:cry: Is that a weeping Norway Spruce(the one on the right near the bottom of the picture??)

01-29-2003, 09:43 AM
Good lord!!!:laugh:

IPM, that is a Weeping Norway Spruce.

dan deutekom
01-29-2003, 09:58 AM
Whats "NATURAL" about 120 yards of sawdust:confused:

01-29-2003, 10:01 AM
Originally posted by dan deutekom
Whats "NATURAL" about 120 yards of sawdust:confused:
He doesn't like using chemicals. He and a helper have been working on this for months. With some Snapsot, I could get the same results in about an hour.

01-29-2003, 10:04 AM
LawnStudent took the words right out of my mouth.
You would think that the saw"DUST" would blow all over the place??????????

01-29-2003, 10:21 AM
Absolutely awful idea!

1) as mentioned above, the uptake of available N by the decaying wood.

2) sawdust will pack as it settles. Especially at the apparent depth in the pics, the plants are really going to suffer from lack of percolation of water and air.

3) while I've never seen a fiasco like this, I would expect the incidence of unattractive fungal activity will be very high in this setting.

Sawdust is a good enhancement for modifying lifeless soils, but must be tilled in to get this effect. And the fear of termites is questionable. Just because you have wood does not mean termites are going to come. They need a proper environment to survive.

01-29-2003, 12:55 PM
I forgot to mention that he also put down newspapers as a barrior before the sawdust.

01-29-2003, 02:33 PM
I think this guy is nuts,IMO. The sawdust will pack and allow no water, or moisture to go through,forcingthe roots to grow up in search of water and oxygen. It will also draw the nitrogen out of the plants. Also,oh my, the wasps and yellow jackets are just going to be swarming everywhere, they will love their new home!I don't expect his plants to survive by the end of the growing season.

01-29-2003, 03:01 PM
Another concern is that that sawdust is piled right up to and over the trunks of his trees and shrubs. This is a good way to encourage bug and disease problems. Keep your mulch pulled back from the trunks of your ornamentals. Doesn't sawdust crust over? It certainly is difficult to wet-out. I think it has already been mentioned that water infiltation will be a problem. And the apparent depth will block oxygen. This guy is out of his gourd!!!!! Have you brought any of these concerns to your neighbor's attention?


01-29-2003, 03:09 PM
Originally posted by lawnstudent
This guy is out of his gourd!!!!! Have you brought any of these concerns to your neighbor's attention?


This person strikes me as being a know-it-all. he could be informed ,but probably would not like the comment, not take the advice. He'll have to learn the hard way, then we can all say "told you so." But then again, maybe he just needs some lessons in pset management:D

01-29-2003, 03:23 PM
A know-it-all or just a bargain hunter? I'll bet he got all that sawdust real cheap. At least cheaper than quality bark mulch.


01-29-2003, 04:06 PM
Originally posted by lawnstudent
A know-it-all or just a bargain hunter? I'll bet he got all that sawdust real cheap. At least cheaper than quality bark mulch.

He told me that the saw mill charged him $20 a truck load. He also knows where to get some kind of natural compost for free.

Mike Bradbury
02-01-2003, 03:10 AM
he's gonna have some incredible mushroom activity :alien:

06-10-2003, 11:54 AM
So, Bob, what is the outcome of this guys beds?

06-10-2003, 06:16 PM
ask your brothers neighbor how he plans to keep the weed seeds that blow around (dandelion) from germinating on top of that mess.


06-10-2003, 06:59 PM
Are all the plants dead yet????

With that much fresh sawdust around the plants, the heat emitted by it when it decays will kill plants quicker than anything. Plus when it produces heat it produces gas and will burn the leaves off. Not a good idea IMO.

06-11-2003, 01:30 AM
I agree with all that has been said, when the photo first popped up on my screen, I thought the dude was 'nutso' too. When the bugs and diseases come, those beautiful specimen trees are going to go bye-bye, THEN how good of a bargain will he have found then? Poor trees!!!
Even with that aside, that sawdust DOES NOT look good at all with that plant material!!!