Red cedar shavings as compost/mulch?

Spring City, TN

I put them in the doghouses and remove/refresh them 4x/year. I like the way the dogs smell when they sleep in them. And there are rumors that cedar oils in the coats help repel fleas.... Maybe. Anyway, I have a lot several times/year, and normally I bag and take to the dump.....

Conversely, since I like the smell of them, can I mulch with them straight out of the bag?

Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

It's probably OK to mulch with J virginiana shavings, but I wouldn't incorporate them into the soil unless the volatile oils that give then their unique smell have dissipated - and then only sparingly lest you put your plants at nutritional risk as a result of N immobilization. The turpenoids, phenolic compounds, aqueous methanol .... are known to be allelopathic.


Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Maybe handle the aromatic mulch the same way you do inside the doghouse.

Every year or two or three, rake up the crumbling left-over mulch. Compost it in a pile with some added greens or source of Nitrogen. Let it compost thoroughly to decompose all the essential oils and resolve it's Nitrogen desire.

THEN turn it under the soil in your beds.

Or, an eaiser scheme would be to stop adding cedar or juniper shavings to a bed for a year or two. Instead, mulch that bed with something else (less woody) laid on top of the not-yet-fully-decomposed juniper or cedar. Like bark mulch. Then, after the bottom layer of shaving has no scent left, turn it all under.

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