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By Lily2

Berkshire, United Kingdom Gb

Is sawdust suitable for composting?

Following the removal of 4 large Leylandi and subsequent sawing into logs, I have a dustbin full of coarse sawdust. Can I put this in my compost bins and at what rate? The bins are all being emptied to move to the new site and are at various stages of decomposition. Can I mix some of the sawdust in with the partially composted material or should it only go in with new material?



Sawdust makes decent compost, but only if it is fortified with nitrogen. A couple handfuls of ammonium sulfate per cubic foot of sawdust is usually enough.

28 Nov, 2010


You could put a small amount in with the regular compost, fresh or partly decayed, but not too much as the fine particles will restrict the air movement in the bins.

28 Nov, 2010


Tug, do you mean this mixture of ammonium sulphate and sawdust left to compost on it's own or this mixture added to compost heap in small amounts?
Thanks Bulbaholic, looks like I shall have the sawdust for a very long time at that rate!

28 Nov, 2010


Either way, Lily, though if your compost has a lot of green material the sawdust will need less ammonium sulphate.

30 Nov, 2010


OK Tug thanks for that.

1 Dec, 2010


Yeah agree with all that but would suggest having a separate pile so you can see when the sawdust has properly broken down.

If it goes on the ground when not properly decomposed it can cause the tie-up of nitrogen for a while so any plants going in immediately could suffer. Presumably why Tug mentions fortifying with nitrogen.

Suggest looking up "nitrogen robbery" on the internet.

2 Dec, 2010


Thanks for your comment John, I'll google that as you suggest. There's so much sawdust that I shall need a separate pile for it as well as the usual compost bin. Otherwise it will be hanging around forever if I can only put small amounts in with other garden waste.

2 Dec, 2010

How do I say thanks?

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