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jointer mulch??

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Forum topic by MarktheWoodButcher posted 1745 days ago 1058 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MarktheWoodButcher

107 posts in 1802 days


1745 days ago

I can’t imagine I am the only woodworking gardener hanging out around here (“You can lead a hortaculture, but…) so has anyone else used jointer and planer shavings as garden mulch? Is there a reason I shouldn’t?

-- Knowledge Is Responsibility


20 replies so far

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James

162 posts in 1784 days


#1 posted 1745 days ago

I started using it for that very purpose a couple of years ago but my old man told me I was a fool because it would suck all the nutrients from your plants. Yet… I have some pretty big tomatoes already this year?

-- James, Bluffton, IN

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Hyperhutch

63 posts in 1752 days


#2 posted 1745 days ago

Depends on the species I think. My next door neighbors saw me getting ready to dispose of volumes of maple lathe shavings, and they mulched their flower beds with it. So far the plants are thriving, but I think if it were walnut their soil’s nutrient balance may have gotten screwed up. From what I understand the high acidity (and possibly other factors) of certain woods isn’t so helpful.

So I would say mulch all the poplar, maple, basswood, pine, sassafrass, ash, etc… that you want. But after years of mulching oak, walnut, and exotics you might run into issues.

Of coarse, I could easily be wrong. :)

Hutch

-- I hope the volume of shavings one creates is directly related to the probablility of one's success, cuz if so I've got it made!!

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cabinetmaster

10874 posts in 2061 days


#3 posted 1745 days ago

I’ve done it for years and have had no problem with it. Cedar really works good and helps keep the bugs away.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

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lew

9831 posts in 2258 days


#4 posted 1745 days ago

As Hutch said, be careful of Walnut. I, too, have heard it is not good for plants and trees.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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a1Jim

109399 posts in 2080 days


#5 posted 1745 days ago

I would compost it first.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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happyrobear

1 post in 1803 days


#6 posted 1744 days ago

I thought about using my sawdust as mulch one time, but I started to worry if that might attract termites also. In my area, they can be common. Do you think that may be something to consider?

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TopamaxSurvivor

14409 posts in 2178 days


#7 posted 1744 days ago

I know of a fellow who killed his garden spot for several years with wood chips. Now sure of the species, but it was probably pine in eastern WA.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2324 days


#8 posted 1744 days ago

I do it all the time. I just hate having to toss it out and, since we have a heavy clay soil in our yard, it looked like a win-win situation when I started putting the shavings on the landscaped areas. I have been doing this for years now and not only is a good mulch but it also helps amend the soil.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View FlWoodRat's profile

FlWoodRat

732 posts in 2412 days


#9 posted 1744 days ago

Mark,

My last ‘major’ project (blanket chest) provided me with a significant pile of mulch. Strategic planning and a push broom and leaf blower enabled me to disperse it quite readily to the planting areas adjacent to my drive way.

Here is the pile.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

4788 posts in 1931 days


#10 posted 1744 days ago

I think it was in “Mother Earth News”, or a similar mag that I read that it takes more nitrogen out of the soil to break down the wood than the wood will give back to the soil. IIRC, they were talking about chips rather than sawdust.
We don’t use either around plants as our soils are nitrogen poor, to begin with.
Composting it first would probably work but, I wonder if it might slow the process???
Gene

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 2071 days


#11 posted 1744 days ago

I agree with the others, I’d compost it first along with your lawn waste.

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View mski's profile

mski

411 posts in 2483 days


#12 posted 1744 days ago

Black walnut is TOXIC to other plants so is some Cedar,
All wood dust shavings will suck the nitrogen from the soil if not composted, because the composting process uses nitrogen to compost, but if you compost first, the best free stuff you can get.
NOW that is wood NOT ply or mdf ect.

-- MARK IN BOB, So. CAL

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

4788 posts in 1931 days


#13 posted 1743 days ago

Mark said:
“Black walnut is TOXIC to other plants so is some Cedar,
All wood dust shavings will suck the nitrogen from the soil if not composted, because the composting process uses nitrogen to compost, but if you compost first, the best free stuff you can get.
NOW that is wood NOT ply or mdf ect.”

Some friends learned the hard way that walnut shavings are toxic to horses, as well.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2524 days


#14 posted 1743 days ago

It’s o.k to use around garden paths but as Gene points out, it ties up a lot of nitrogen as it breaks down.

There are several studies on this if you want to google them.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1387 posts in 1967 days


#15 posted 1743 days ago

wont adding extra fertilizer help then?

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