Using Sawdust in Your Landscape

One of the cheapest materials you could ever source for your garden landscape is sawdust. In fact, in most situations you can normally get this waste material completely free. Yet nothing has value until you can see its usefulness. So, in the case of sawdust, I’m going to show you a few ways to use this wonderful resource to landscape and improve your garden.


But, before I do I need to make a disclaimer: not all sawdusts are equal! If the sawdust has come from CCA (chromated copper arsenate) treated wood then its uses in your garden are going to be very, very limited. Leaching of this poison will have dire effects in your soil and could kill any livestock or poultry that you have roaming your yard. So, check that any sawdust that you bring onto your property is untreated and as natural as you can find it.

Sawdust as Mulch

As a weed suppressant sawdust is perfect. It knits together very neatly allowing water to penetrate the surface but denying weeds the opportunity to ever see sunlight again. Plus, its a very pretty mulch that can add a picturesque contrast throughout your landscape.

It is worth noting though that, like woodchips, sawdust will seduce the nitrogen from your soil so if you’re going to take this approach its best to add some manures or bone meal beneath the sawdust.

Paths Made From Sawdust

Admittedly, I have a fetish when it comes to pathways constructed from sawdust. They look great, feel soft to tread upon and can be as temporary or as permanent as you wish. And they never go out of vogue.

If you’re wanting to add one all you require is a heap of sawdust, tamped down in situ and then left for the weather to improve. You can dampen it to keep it in place at the beginning but eventually it will hold its own and keep your paths accessible.

Softfall for Kids Play Areas

As softfall, sawdust is brilliant. Sure, it won’t compete with recycled rubber but if its sparring with sand then it has to come out on top. Firstly, sawdust won’t continually leave the play area and be carted through your lawns – or worse, through the carpets inside. While it will settle it doesn’t go hard like sand eventually does and will still remain soft to fall on. Plus, cats don’t like it and won’t use it as their toilet bowl.

Piles of Sawdust as a Feature

Ok. This is just me getting all arty-farty. As in the photo above, piles of sawdust as a feature within your landscape are very attractive. When complemented with an unused stump they add a dimension to the garden that seems almost perfectly matched. Heck, its your garden, you do what you want but IMHO I think this works.

Sawdust as a Chicken Coop Floor Covering

Even the chickens will love your sawdust for their floor covering. Sawdust is natural and breaks down over time and combined with chicken poo will break down even faster. So, if you have a ready source of replenishable material sawdust makes a great alternative to straw or hay and will keep odours at bay longer. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Additionally, we participates in various other affiliate programs, and we sometimes get a commission through purchases made through our links.