I have a large bag of cedar chips used for animal bedding. I no longer need it for bedding. Can I safely put it on my garden, prior to turning the soil, as compost?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, David: The only reason not to use the cedar chips as mulch on the garden would be if it were not clean. If the animals used this bedding as their bathroom it would need to be composted before you add it to the soil. This is especially true if you are adding it to a vegetable garden. If your animals are injected with synthetic drugs there is reason to believe that the enzymes needed for decomposition would not be available, making the end composted product unsuitable for any garden amendment. If the bedding is clean and you want to use it as a mulch, go ahead and do so. As with any mulch it should not be applied any more than 2 inches thick. Having too much mulch can create a prime environment for insect and disease to thrive. Safely reusing your animal bedding is a great way to reduce waste and be more sustainable.