Plywood sawdust as mulch?

Back again to the all knowing group mind to suck some more knowledge from the experts. I have read in many places not to burn plywood scraps in the fireplace because of the gasses the glue gives off when burning, but I have never seen anything about plywood mulch being harmful. Does any body know or have ideas about any harm from plywood sawdust? Thank you for any and all replies. Larry
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Sawdust in general is bad mulch because it takes nitrogen out of the soil as it decays. I am guessing that hardwood mulch is okay because it takes so much longer to decay, but don't really know that.
Nor do I have any idea if plywood dust is worse than wood dust.
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Wade Lippman wrote:

I have been spreading my sawdust in the garden area between the raised beds (NOT in the raised beds!) and the grass is just as green as anywhere else for 2 years now. If it will hurt flowers or shrubs, I don't know but I would doubt it. Unless it changed the PH dramatically. You might want to spread some nitrogen first but I doubt that sawdust used as mulch sucks it up out of the ground. This is a combination of oak, oak ply, 5 different kinds of regular ply, birch, birch ply, maple, popular and pine. there is some folklore (that should raise a stink) about walnut or black walnut but I don't use any of that, yet.
BRuce
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BRuce <BRuce> wrote: :> :>>have ideas about any harm from plywood sawdust? Thank you for any and all :>>replies. Larry
Plywood contains a lot of glue, and some formaldehyde, I think, so I'd call a plywood manufacturer.
: there is some folklore (that : should raise a stink) about walnut or black walnut but I don't use any : of that, yet.
Walnut shavings and dust are seriously toxic to horses:
http://www.gov.on.ca/OMAFRA/english/livestock/horses/facts/walnut.htm http://seahorse.atlantia.sca.org/pipermail/atlantia/2002-March/004689.html http://www.vet.purdue.edu/depts/addl/toxic/plant45.htm
In addition, walnut trees produce a natural herbicide called juglone, which I imagine would mean walnut is a very poor choice for mulch.
    -- Andy Barss
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True enough, as wood decays it removes nitrogen. Mixing the sawdust with a goodly amount of grass clippings will help out a fair amount.

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Kevin wrote:

Help on the nitrogen issue mayhap, but think of all the weed seeds you'd be introducing into the mulch that's supposed to suppress weeds...
Well, unless you have one of those artificial, chemically sustained monoculture lawns with nothing but grass growing in it.
Me, I have a crop of dandelions with a few tufts of grass mixed in. :)
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Silvan wrote:

Yeah but you can eat the greens from the dandelions...see...you have a veggie garden and didn't even know it.
Scott
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Scott Brownell wrote:

Tried it. Bleah. Too bitter to eat.
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Sawdust as a mulch is fine, just don't dig/rototill in. When dug in, that's when you have trouble with the nitrogen.
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Don't know but doubt it would work. Might check rec.gardens.
On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 11:18:24 -0400, "larry in cinci"
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On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 11:18:24 -0400, "larry in cinci"

I avoid using any composites, such as MDF, plywood, etc... and their shavings and dust, in fireplaces, gardens, pet cages, etc...
I may be overly cautious, but it's worked for me.
Barry
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From what I have read, done and heard from the Saturday gardening specialist on Saturday radio, sawdust can be very good mulch. It does take nitrogen from the soil as it decays. It was suggested to mix some high nitrogen fertilizer with the sawdust if used directly as a mulch. How much, I don't know. It is much better to compost the sawdust first. Sawdust by itself doesn't decompose very fast. There are some liquid additives that can be obtained from the local gardening center for composting dry leaves that aid in enhancing the decay process. Also, you can mix it with other compost material such as kitchen scraps. Sawdust from Walnut and treated lumber should not be used. I don't know about ply and mdf, but personally, I wouldn't use it unless it is small amounts mixed in with regular sawdust in the dust collector.
At home, I apply straight sawdust over the whole garden after the plants are up. I don't mix anything with it or compost it first (too lazy), and garden produces well every year.
Preston

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Can actually be an advantage. Remember nitrogen=foliage, not fruit. Does wonders for the potatoes.

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If you pile the sawdust outdoors where it can get rain, after 6 months you can use it for mulch without it taking much nitrogen. Partially composted sawdust is great for blueberry bushes. You can help the compost process by adding lawn clippings which is high in nitrogen.
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I've read in multiple different places that you - can use sawdust as it is a good organic mulch - should not, as it attracts termites So I think the jury is still out on this one.
As for the dark brown mulch you buy in the store - it is cedar shards, and is naturally termite-resistant because of cedar's natural thujone content.
- DH
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Believe you'd get more glue than wanted as both rely on adhesives in manufacture.
On Thu, 16 Oct 2003 01:55:44 GMT, "Preston Andreas"

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