Gardening in sawdust

Gardening in sawdust

Is gardening in sawdust possible? Can you grow a garden in sawdust even though it has zero nutrients for the plants?  You can with the Mittleider gardening method and it will do amazingly well.  Sawdust generally has a nearly ideal pH, it doesn’t have any plant borne diseases like blight in it and can be acquired cheaply or even for FREE as we have done.

Gardening in sawdust -Seedlings growing in sawdust and sand
Gardening in sawdust -Seedlings growing in sawdust and sand

You need more than just sawdust

Unfortunately you do need more than just sawdust to grow a beautiful garden.  First off, you will need to mix sand in with your sawdust.  This will allow for proper drainage.

Because there is no nutritional value to the sawdust and sand it is therefore necessary that we add preplant and weekly feed to our custom soil mix.  Due to no nutrients being in sawdust we must add them.  As the result of giving the plants all the nutrients they need you will see them thrive.

To learn more about the Mittleider gardening method

To learn more about this amazing gardening method keep reading the blog.  You can join the Mittleider Gardening forums and even the facebook group to see others implementing this method or to ask questions.  You can get the book as a paperback or digital download from the Grow Food website.

Sawdust for the Mittleider garden

We use sawdust in our Mittleider garden for our grow boxes and in our seedling trays.  Each year we top off the grow boxes before the growing season begins.  Today we made the trip over to a nearby town where a sawmill allows us to shovel our own sawdust for free.  They make pallets and are largely cutting inexpensive cottonwood trees for the lumber.  Any tree expect the black walnut provides a usable sawdust for a Mittleider grow box or seedling trays.  Make sure you get the correct size particles in your sawdust!  If you don’t have sawmills near you then you can use equine pellets.

The sawdust is mixed with sand for both the grow boxes and the seedling trays.  For the grow boxes it is mixed at 3 parts sawdust and 1 part sand.  For the seedling trays it is 2 parts  sawdust to one of the sand.  Both are mixed by volume.  I’ll try and take some pictures that show the size of the particles.  Too large and too fine are both bad.

Sawdust to be used in our Mittleider garden custom soil grow boxes
Gardening in sawdust in custom soil grow boxes

No idea how much wood they cut in a week, but this sawdust pile is massive, the picture truly doesn’t do it justice.

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