Save your cedar shavings, and use them as a mulch for the vegetation on your land.

How to Mulch With Cedar Shavings

by Alicia Bodine

Mulching involves covering the surface of your soil with either a natural or synthetic material. One of the natural materials is cedar shavings. Since cedar shavings are actually organic, they add nutrients to the soil as they decompose. You'll find many other benefits to using cedar shavings as a mulch. They inhibit the growth of weeds, keep the soil temperature from getting too hot or too cold, and aid the soil in retaining moisture. As an added bonus, cedar shaving mulches add a decorative touch to your plants and trees.

Clear the area you want to mulch of debris, weeds and tiny rocks.

Add a source of nitrogen to the soil surrounding your plants and trees before adding the cedar shavings. The University of Connecticut recommends a thin layer of nitrogen to keep the ratio of carbon and nitrogen in check because wood shavings have such a high carbon content. Sources of nitrogen include grass clippings, blood meal and urea.

Spread the cedar shavings around the tree or plant that you want to add mulch to at a thickness of 1 to 2 inches. Keep the shavings level, and be careful not to let the cedar shavings touch the trunk of the tree or the stalk of the plant. A distance of 6 inches from the trunk or stalk is preferred.

Remove the top 3 inches of soil in locations where you just want to use the cedar shavings as a decorative mulch. Fill that 3-inch void with cedar shavings instead.

Water the cedar shavings so that they are moist, but not sopping wet. You only need to do this once immediately following the installation to prevent fungi from colonizing.

Replace the cedar shavings once every two to three years with fresh cedar shavings.

Items you will need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Source of nitrogen
  • Shovel


  • Cornell University states that wood shavings make especially great mulches for annual or perennial beds.

About the Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.

Photo Credits

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