BigMama
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Ashes on our garden

Hi,
We burn wood in a wood stove and we are wondering if it is healthy to dump the ashes on our garden in the fall and winter?
Thank you.

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rainbowgardener
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Wood ash is quite alkaline. It would probably be better to put it in your compost pile, unless your soil is very acid and needs to be neutralized ("limed"). Even in your compost pile, you would want to put a layer of wood ash in between layers of other stuff, not to overwhelm the pile with it.

Here's an article about using your wood ash:

https://extension.oregonstate.edu/news/story.php?S_No=34&storyType=garde

cynthia_h
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My girlfriend/SIL uses a wood stove for heating, too. She gives me a box/bag of wood ashes every spring. I use them, a little at a time, in my compost throughout the year.

But I know she shares them with several people. I'm not sure what I'd tell her to do if I had to use all the ashes myself; I'd probably take up old-time soap-making...

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huskie
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Spread in the lawn is the best place.....most grass love a high alkaline soil and wood ash will promote that. I have had very good success with that.

But ash spread in your vegy garden works good too.....my tomato garden has tons of ash in it and has always done well.

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Sharon Marie
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I am going to take this advise straight to the back yard :) I know lots of people who heat with wood stoves in the country parts around here :)
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gixxerific
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Good link Rainbow.

I've been meaning to ask this, I have a fireplace. I couldn't remember why but I thought wood ash was bad for plant life. It was just that is is not good in high doses. Now I know what to do with all the ash I will have.

Thanks for this thread bigmomma! :)

jmoore
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huskie wrote:Spread in the lawn is the best place.....most grass love a high alkaline soil and wood ash will promote that. I have had very good success with that.

But ash spread in your vegy garden works good too.....my tomato garden has tons of ash in it and has always done well.
This is great news. I don't have a WBFP that gets used a lot, but I do have a grill that seems to run 2-3 days a week almost year round. I need something to do with the ashes and I've got a nice lawn.

builder0101
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If you use starter fluid or pre soaked birquettes you may want tolook into that one. Are you sure there is no residual chems present in the ashes?

Mike.

jmoore
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builder0101 wrote:If you use starter fluid or pre soaked birquettes you may want tolook into that one. Are you sure there is no residual chems present in the ashes?

Mike.
1. No starter fluid. Ever. Chimney starter.
2. Kingsford briquettes. I don't know if there are residual chems in those. I'll have to check that out. Good catch.

builder0101
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Let us know what you find out.

Thanks,

Mike.

builder0101
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Of course we are talhing about raising the PH here guys and gals. be careful around your acid loving Blueberries, Hydrangeas, Pin Oaks, Birch, etc.etc.

Read article at link Rainbowgardener provided earlier in this thread.

Thanks,

Mike.

jmoore
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builder0101 wrote:Let us know what you find out.

Thanks,

Mike.
Here it is. Looks like it's mostly natural. And the stuff that's not is in very small quantities.

https://www.virtualweberbullet.com/charcoal.html about 1/3 way down the page.

Here is the official ingredient list for Kingsford Charcoal Briquets from a company press release, including the purpose of each ingredient in parentheses. The explanation after each ingredient is my own.

Wood char (Heat source)
This is simply the wood by-products I mentioned above, burned down into charcoal—almost pure carbon. In the case of Kingsford, they use woods like fir, cedar, and alder that are local to the regions in which they operate—Burnside and Summer Shade, Kentucky; Glen, Mississippi; Belle, Missouri; Springfield, Oregon; and Beryl and Parsons, West Virginia.

Mineral char (Heat source)
This is a geologically young form of coal with a soft, brown texture. It helps Kingsford burn hotter and longer than a plain charcoal briquette. As with the wood, Kingsford heats this material in an oxygen-controlled environment, eliminating water, nitrogen, and other elements, leaving behind—almost pure carbon.

Mineral carbon (Heat source)
This is anthracite coal, the old, hard, black stuff once commonly used for home heating. It helps Kingsford burn hotter and longer than a plain charcoal briquette. It's already 86-98% pure carbon, but once again, Kingsford processes it in an oxygen-controlled environment, leaving behind—almost pure carbon.

What exactly is coal, you ask? "Nasty stuff," some folks say. Well, coal is a fossil fuel, most of which was formed more than 300 million years ago. To make a really, really long story short: Plants and trees died, sank to the bottom of swampy areas, accumulated into many layers, then geologic processes covered the stuff with sand, clay, and rock, and the combination of heat and pressure converted it into what we call coal.

So, coal is really old plant material that can be processed into almost pure carbon. Charcoal is wood that is burned down into almost pure carbon. Not much difference, in my book. End of coal lesson.

Limestone (Uniform visual ashing)
Limestone creates the pretty, white coating of ash you see after lighting the briquettes. Limestone is a sedimentary rock consisting of calcium carbonate—also found in egg shells, antacids, and calcium dietary supplements.

Starch (Binder)
As mentioned above, starch is used to hold briquettes together, and is found in corn, wheat, potatoes, and rice.

Borax (Press release)
Borax is used in small amounts to help briquettes release from the molds. But isn't Borax a detergent? Well, yes, it is, but it's actually a naturally-occurring mineral that is non-toxic in the quantities we're talking about in a briquette. It consists of sodium, boron, oxygen, and water. You already know what oxygen and water are. Sodium is a common element found in lots of stuff we eat, including salt. Boron is an element that is necessary in small quantities for plant growth. Borax is commonly used in cosmetics and medicines.

Sodium nitrate (Ignition aid)
This is the same stuff used to cure meat. According to Robert L. Wolke, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, sodium nitrate gives off oxygen when heated, helping the briquettes to light faster.

Sawdust (Ignition aid)
Sawdust burns quickly, helping the briquettes to light faster.
Did you notice there was no mention of "petroleum by-products" or "toxic waste"? What about "fillers"? Looks like every ingredient is there for a purpose—to improve the performance of the product.

builder0101
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Jmoore,
Thanks for the info.

The borax is interesting. all (maby all) plants need trace ammounts of this, however creeping charlie is particularly sensitive to it and reacts negatively to more than just the slightest trace of it. I hand broadcast borax on lmy lawn to eradicate creeping charlie. If yotry this be careful I like to do it early AM while the dew is still present (helps the borax stick) on a berrzy day and just allow the wind to ever so slightly dust the lawn. If you over do it the lawn will yellow slightly but will recover. There are recipies for mixing with water and spraying with pressure sprayer which is probably a more scientific process and more safe. My dad completely eradicated his creeping charlie through hand weeding and Borax. The Borax will not kil the Charlie outright but will compromise it and over time you can be successful.

Thanks, and thanks

Mike.

Thanks,

Steve Gordan
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It really depends on the type of soil that you have. Nearly all the nutrients are found in the leaves of the plants, so ashes from paper, logs, and whatever, is not likely to be much benefit. If they are from fallen leaves, it might be ok, but in that case I'd just used the leaves as mulch.
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treeguy
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ash

I dumped ashes in the garden for years 4-5 it didnt seem to raise my ph much but got to the point of binding up other minerals I notice is mostly with root crops raddish the size of marbles golf ball size beets :cry: be careful of your grill ash I have a bare spot from too much of it

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applestar
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I've been meaning to add this -- Hardwood ash is supposed to be good gently scratched into the soil immediately around the base of your fruit trees to repel borers.

pickupguy07
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well...
I have a good sized fireplace in my home. I burn mostly poplar, sweet gum, oak, and pine.
Luckily I have an "ash dump" in my fireplace, so I can push the ashes down the dump into a holding area. Thus eliminating having to take the ashes out of the fireplace, and carry them out of the house. also keeps them dry. And I accumulate them until I get enough to be useful.
Anyway... I have a couple wheel borrows ful produced per year.

SO I was checking out this thread on how much I could use on my compost pile. I have a 3.5 x 3.5 x 4 bin.
I also have a "leaf bin" (7 x 4) built right next to the compost bin... so I was curious if maybe it might be best to put some (maybe much) of the ashes in with the leaves.
From what I understand they are both 'browns'.. and when I add leaves I'd also be adding ash.
Needless to say leaves aren't available in the summer,.. so ashes could be a good substiture (along with paper)..?????

It was nice to see wood ash can be put on your lawn. What kind of flowers, etc would especially like the nutrients that ashes provide.
Life is great..... but if you get lemons - compost them :-)
Near Atlanta GA... newbie to gardening & Composting

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tomf
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I heat with wood so I get a lot of ashes and my ashes go to the garden.

pickupguy07
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ok.. thanks
Maybe I put some in the compost.. and the rest on the garden.
Life is great..... but if you get lemons - compost them :-)
Near Atlanta GA... newbie to gardening & Composting

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