keenkomposter
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Wood shavings and sawdust

I have long struggled with a too "green" bin and am thinking about adding shavings or saw dust from untreated wood. However, the jury seems to be out on whether that's OK... Some people say it's not a problem, but there are plenty out there who says it's a big no-no... :shock:

What am I to do...?

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Halfway
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I put all sawdust in the bin and try to keep the wood chips small as they decompose slowly.

If I hade a chipper, all the wood chips would be sawdust going into the bins. :D
Zone 4a.

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rainbowgardener
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Agree with above, some sawdust should be fine. In general, we suggest no more than 10% of your pile should be any one ingredient. Look at the greens/browns sticky at the top of this forum for more browns ideas. You didn't say where you are located, but lots of the US this time of year, browns are not hard to come by... fall leaves. I drive around and collect bags of leaves people put out at the curb and use them all winter. Otherwise, shredded paper, cardboard scraps, etc. We get bird seed in giant paper bags. When the bags are empty, I feed them into the compost pile.
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gumbo2176
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I do a bit of woodworking out of my home shop and between using my jointer planer, thickness planer, table saw, radial arm saw, and shaper, I accumulate a pretty good bit of wood shavings and sawdust. I shop vac it all up and dump them into the compost pile. Then it gets turned into the pile and I'll add some water since they are bone dry and will wick away moisture from the pile. If I make too much shavings, I'll just dump it sparingly between the rows on the organic material that is already there.

We have a real problem here in SE La. with termites. I won't add so much that it becomes a magnet for them, and apparently I'm doing OK with that since I have no termites in either my compost piles or garden rows.


If I'm doing a good bit of work in my shop, I'll simply bag the excess and use it at another time as to not overload the compost pile or garden with shavings. Also, I never, ever put anything in my pile that comes from pressure treated material, which I do have to use from time to time on outdoor projects.

toxcrusadr
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Same here, gumbo. I cut logs and air dry my lumber, so the planer produces a massive amount of shavings. I bag them up and they keep for a long time. I actually supply the compost operation at my office building with sawdust for daily cover, for the 5-10 lb of fruit and veggie scraps and coffee grounds that goes into our 3 bins.

Nothing wrong with sawdust, but it does take some time and plenty of N to break it down.
Tox

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Blue Fox
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I use sawdust (actually shavings from a local small mill which has a planer operation) and either put them on pathways to wait for a year, or in the chicken house as the first layer in the deep litter method.

A couple of times a year I completely dung it out and start a hot compost with all that chicken manure, straw, old spilled feed, shredded leaves, you name it. After a few weeks of stirring it I can use it for planting melons or squash in - they love it.

The pathways get turned up onto the raised beds as I pull a crop off, and you should see the worms under it! Sometimes I put layers of newspapers under the sawdust, other times if there are no weeds to kill, just the straight sawdust.
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Tyro
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This thread popped up when I looked for Pressure Treat ...

I did a search for pressure treated wood (but that's something else), found this thread.

I use the sawdust from the saws and jointer as 'anti slip' on ice.

Sloped gravel drive, plow snow, thaw/ freeze cycle starts turning snow to ice ... time to spread saw dust.

Can get a bit messy inside the house entry, but thats better than salting the ground. Or using something worse than salt.
Last edited by Tyro on Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

toxcrusadr
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We've sure had our share of ice and snow the last year or two, both OH and MO. I haven't tried that trick, thanks for the tip.

I was rereading the older posts in this thread and I've never had a problem making compost from grass clippings, leaves and whatever sawdust is needed to balance it out. I guess I'm violating the 10% rule, which I agree would probably make a great compost, but I get pretty good stuff.

I also use this mix to mulch the tomatoes etc. in the garden, and by fall it's basically gone, so someone is chewing it up and releasing its goodies into the soil.
Tox

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Halfway
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coffee grounds and sawdust goes quickly!!
Zone 4a.



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