Dry wood shavings are a good mulch to use for paths in the home vegetable garden and only need to be replaced, or added to every 2 to 3 years. This is a good way to recycle waste from the lumber industry.
Reasons to use Wood shavings
- The new shavings are very light and bright which is an asset in the partly shady garden.
- Depending on original shavings thickness it takes 2 to 3 years for the shavings to darken and decompose before being replaced
- Dry shavings are very lightweight and are easy to move in and around the garden. For example 2 yards of dry shavings were spread in a few hours using a wheelbarrow
- Bugs and slugs don’t seem to like the shavings
- Great weed control
- Dry pathways underfoot in heavy rains
- Pleasing to the eye
- Before putting down the new shavings I dug some of the previous mostly decomposed path shavings and re-used it as a mulch on the gardens
- Shavings and sawdust have no nitrogen but can be used on plants when mixed with organic material
- If you use fresh shavings in compost use one part shavings to 4 or 5 parts kitchen waste or green clippings, i.e. high nitrogen organic matter
- If you use fresh shavings or sawdust on vegetable or flower gardens as a surface mulch plants may become nitrogen deficient
- They are a good base for a path or area you are going to cover with another mulch.
- The shavings are mainly from spruce, birch, fir & pine and are mostly softwood
… and more Notes :
- Cedar is not included in the shavings
- Use a mask when moving the sawdust
- Shavings are reasonably priced and are about half the price of bark mulch
- 2 yards of dry wood shavings go a long way in a small urban garden
- We used dry shavings beneath cages in a small rabbitry and the resulting litter was used in the vegetable garden with excellent results
- You can use coloured plastic products under any mulch but I prefer sawdust or shavings as its friendlier for the worms!
Shavings are a good choice for horse bedding