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Sawdust vs. Shavings sheet mulch

 
Sonce Moe
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I want to do a sheet mulch garden, I have some sheep manure and cardboard and sawdust. Can it be done with sawdust as the last layer? I would have used straw but where I live there is no organic straw everything is heavily sprayed.
 
tel jetson
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Location: woodland, washington
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what kind of sawdust?

in a previous professional capacity, I used a thick layer of pine sawdust as a mulch for blueberries and it worked fairly well. perennial weeds did grow through, but they were relatively easily removed.

if the sawdust is from a compatible species, inoculating with suitable mushroom spawn would probably improve the results dramatically. Stropharia rugoso-annulata is a good one for woody mulches, so long as the source wood isn't overly resinous.
 
chrissy bauman
Posts: 131
Location: Sunset Zone 27, Florida
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be careful the layer of sawdust isnt too thick, or it will clump like cat litter and your plants might not get any rainwater.
some people would say to compost it with the sheep manure then use it in the garden as a mulch.
 
leanna jones
Posts: 38
Location: Pennines, northern England, zone 7b, avg annual rainfall 50"
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hi, we are doing this. earliest beds were started in august though so it's too soon to really know results. we did 3"ish of mouldy hay, then 3-6"s of sheep manure (contained lots of straw), then 1" of sawdust - some fine, some chunky. the manure was quite unrotted but is definitely breaking down. as we are in a very wet place we don't need to worry about the sawdust clumping - it is just always saturated! weeds are not totally prevented but they have been minimal
 
Paula Edwards
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Sawdust is acid. What is the reason for sheet mulching? Is your soil crap or non existant? If you bury great soil under cardboard that is a bit of a waste, but sheet mulching is great when there is no real soil. Only sheep manure and sawdust does not sound very balanced, however I am not very scientifically. Can't you rake up some leaves too? Or organize some lawn clippings from the neighbours? The cardboard layer is only for stopping grass growing it is not for improving the soil. It acutally does not break down very fast and it does not let the roots of your veggies grow through it.
 
Leila Rich
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Welcome to permies Sonce
I imagine it gets pretty dry in Macedonia?
I'd use sawdust as mulch if I didn't have something else around, and I wouldn't worry about acidity.
But I'd be wary of using an unmixed layer or it could get a real water-repellent crust.
Do you have any trees dropping their leaves ? I'd mix the sawdust with leaves, grass, seaweed, weeds, very fine twigs etc, to make a porous and non-compacting mulch.
On a side note, unless you're using cardboard specifically to kill difficult grass or something, and especially if your climate is dry, I'd leave out the cardboard layer if you have enough goodies to bury the grass etc.
If it dries out, cardboard can take forever to break down!
 
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