Is it bad to dispose of Sawdust & wood shavings on my garden?

Bill Kratz
by Bill Kratz
I do a lot of woodworking meaning I have much sawdust and shavings I sweep up. I have been dumping them in the flower garden and on the lawn. My wife said not to do this as it will smother the plants and grass. I disagree, what could be more natural than wood? I disperse it liberally careful not to lay it on like a coat of paint!!
Please give me your thoughts and advise.
  5 answers
  • Doug Doug on Jun 12, 2017
    I too do woodworking and have spread my sawdust on the lawn with no ill effects, however, if you mix your sawdust into the top layers of dirt you have to add nitrogen to the soil as the wood decomposition in the soil will take most of the available nitrogen from the soil in the decomposition process which it returns as it decomposes. Spreading wood shavings and sawdust on top of the ground does not affect the soil this way and I use this on thin grass areas to protect the dirt until the grass grows back.

  • Tam13317878 Tam13317878 on Jun 12, 2017
    Bill I would not use in flowerbeds near the house as it might attract termites Otherwise lightly dispersed over your lawn would probably be ok.

  • Selinabenson Selinabenson on Jun 12, 2017
    Wood chips & sawdust rob soil of much-needed nitrogen, but once it is decomposed, it becomes beneficial to soil. If you're using it around perennial flowers, shrubs, and around fruiting trees, you can use it right away. If you're using it in soil as compost, you'll need to allow it to naturally break down for 2 years, then it is great!

  • William William on Jun 12, 2017
    Wood shavings and sawdust need to be composted. Spreading it in the garden and lawn will take forever for it to break down. It also will attract ants, termites, and other bugs.