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Ruffsta
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Location: Rhode Island - USA (6B)

ASHES!

Ok,

I burn a lot of wood and cardboard.. so.. I'm thinking ashes... i can pretty much take the ashes and pretty much make it all dust/powder..

i burn a lot indoors in my fireplace cause of winter.. but i also have a firepit outside.. thinking...
can it be made into a tea? mix directly into the garden? i mean it has it's benefits..

1.) less trash to fill landfills and such
2.) the more reduced the ashes - thinking endless tea / garden soil mix...

just been sitting around this winter and burning but just throwing out the ashes.. came to me.. we really could eliminate half the world's trash if we just burned and re-used the ashes.. no BEFORE anyone comments.. i have NOT explained it all..

burn whatever, dilute it as much as possible - (over and over if need be).. but right there you have a tea, compost mix and garden soil mix... a major impact.. looking at my fireplace after burning right now.. why just scoop it up in a bag and throw it in the trash?
I am proudly CROWDFUNDING to open my own bistro: Devil's Cut Bistro

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Ruffsta
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Re: ASHES!

if i really really wanted to.. i'd LITERALLY have nothing but ash dust...
I am proudly CROWDFUNDING to open my own bistro: Devil's Cut Bistro

ButterflyLady29
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Re: ASHES!

Wood ash is okay but there are a lot of nasties left after burning trash. A lot of toxic chemicals don't burn and those that do are released into the atmosphere.

Also, wood ash is highly alkaline. It can be used to produce lye. I rarely spread wood ashes in the garden but I will spread them in the lawn areas and use ash as an ice melt in the driveway and walking paths.

My mom spreads ash in her garden on a rotating basis. But her garden consists of several half acre plots.

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applestar
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Re: ASHES!

Yep ash, especially clean/safe hardwood ashes from the fireplace has a place in the garden as potash nutrient, pH (highly alkaline/raise pH as already mentioned) amendment and pest repellant. But it needs to be used judiciously.

A couple other old time / tried and true uses are for sprinkling in the bottom of the trench before adding some soil to sow peas, and sprinkling around the base of fruit trees to repel (kill?) borers.

In addition to peas, there is one other crop that ash is particularly recommended for and I can't think of it -- but I'm thinking maybe cabbage/mustard family vegetables.

And ash is to be avoided for planting seed potatoes even though there used to be conflicting info such as dipping cut seed potatoes in ash. I believe the stronger possibility is that the potatoes become prone to scab due to raised pH.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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Gary350
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Re: ASHES!

Wood ash contains a lot of lime it is very good for tomatoes and several other plants.

Mix wood ash, organic material, urine in buckets with lids in 1 month you have an excellent high nitrogen fertilizer.

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!potatoes!
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Re: ASHES!

yeah, definitely don't throw it in the trash un less there's some reason to believe it's got bad stuff in it. all of our woodstove ash goes either on the garden or around trees/bushes. potassium!

Taiji
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Re: ASHES!

Ashes are a no no out here; our soils are alkaline. Though I did put some around some trees years ago before I knew that. It didn't seem to have any negative effects.

ButterflyLady29
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Re: ASHES!

If it's not applied thickly or repeatedly one dose shouldn't harm trees. It's when ashes are added many years or very thickly that it will harm plants.

Rhubarb and asparagus supposedly benefit from a light application of ash in the fall. Mine didn't do so well but I think it was the location and lack of drainage instead of just a bit of ash. But the ash never seems to hurt the grass, so on the lawn it goes, or in Mom's large mineral depleted, former farmland garden.

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jal_ut
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Re: ASHES!

Ashes go in the trash. Or just make an ash dump and dump them? They could be harmful if put on the plants. They would be OK spread around in the fall and tilled in.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Gary350
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Re: ASHES!

My grandparents heated with wood all winter when summer came grandmother use to sprinkle all the wood ash all around the house right next to the foundation it keeps ants and termites away.

During the civil war they used wood ask to make gun powder. Mix wood ash, organic material, urine, 1 month later put the mix in a tank of water. Drain and boil away water in another tank the white powder is Potassium nitrate. This is why wood ash, urine, organic material make such a good high nitrogen fertilizer for the garden.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRAaAkfirRU

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Gary350
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Re: ASHES!

You can make soap with wood ash the old fashion way or make soap the easy way. This is good soap I like it better than store bought soap and this is FUN to make in about 1 hour.

EASY RECIPE.
48 ounces of Crisco or lard or bacon grease.
6.5 ounces of Lye from the hardware store.
16.2 ounces of water.
Mix the lye with the water, do NOT mix water with the lye. Do this outside NOT inside the house. Stand up wind while you mix. The chemical reaction produces a lot of heat the choking steam. Microwave the Crisco just enough to make it liquid then stir liquid into the water. Stir well until the temperature drops to around 120 degrees the liquid becomes thick like melted ice cream. Pour into soap molds before it gels.

Old fashion RECIPE the way my grandmother did lye soap.
Fill a 5 gallon bucket to the top with wood ash then pour in hot water until wood ash until you have an easy stir liquid. Stir well then strain the liquid through a cloth to remove all wood partials. Test the liquid to see if it will float an egg in the shell. Boil away the water until the egg floats. Mix 16.2 ounces of the wood ash water with 48 ounces of bacon grease. Stir well until the liquid starts to get thick then pour into soap molds.

This makes about 20 bars of soap 1"x2"x4" each. You can make bars any size you like. You can make a mold with 2x4 boards 20" long lined with plastic from a trash bag. Liquid will become hard when it cools, let it set for 2 days then remove the wooden mold. Cut bars into 1" thick slices then let them age 30 days and they are ready to use.

You can add smell good stuff to the soap, herbs, spices, salt, flowers, extracts, etc. stir in before the liquid becomes thick then pour in soap molds.

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