How to Compost Using Sawdust


Gardeners who keep a compost bin might find themselves often searching for new materials to add to their growing compost piles. A well-balanced compost pile must contain both brown and green materials. Brown composting materials include leaves, straw, dead plant materials and even sawdust. Green composting materials include kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, manure and grass clippings. As long as your sawdust does not come from chemically treated wood, sawdust is a beneficial composting ingredient.

Step 1

Add sawdust alone to a compost bin in a very thin layer. Keep a sawdust layer no thicker than 1 inch. If you have more sawdust than this to add to the compost bin, add two or three times as much, but you must stir it into the compost bin with a garden spade or you must rotate the cylinder of your compost bin to mix the compost after adding the sawdust.

Step 2

Mix the sawdust with other brown ingredients such as leaves, straw or dead plant materials. Add all of the brown ingredients together and place the brown ingredients onto the top of the compost pile in a 3- to 4-inch layer.

Step 3

Add a green layer next after the brown layer because you should always alternating between green and brown layers. It is most beneficial, however, to leave a brown layer on the top of the compost bin. If you leave a green layer on top of the compost bin, you will likely attract scavengers and insects. A top-most green layer that you do not immediately bury under a brown layer will cause the compost bin to emit odors as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost bin
  • Sawdust
  • Garden spade


  • VegWeb: Composting
Keywords: growing compost piles, sawdust, brown composting materials

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributer to Natural News. She is an avid gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and computer user. She is interested in natural health and hopes to direct her focus toward earning an RN degree.