Can you use sawdust to mulch raspberry plants?


I would like to mulch my raspberry plants. I know wood chips are good, but can you use coarse sawdust?


Donna Coffin, Extension Professor

Mulch will reduce weed pressure, retain soil moisture, and add organic matter. Coarse sawdust can deplete the nitrogen in the soil as soil microbes start to break down the carbon in it. Eventually they will start releasing nutrients to the plants, but it can take a long time. A symptom of nitrogen deficiency in plants is yellowing of leaves.

Sawdust can also pack down and you may find it works better to mix sawdust with shavings to provide a looser mulching material.

We do have a factsheet on Growing Raspberries in Maine that may be of interest.