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Ash for gardens?

Last post 08-04-2005 9:11 AM by bogweevil. 6 replies.

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  • 14/03/2005 08:34 PM
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    Hi Is the ash from the fireplace (all wood, not coal or anything else) any good for any part of the garden? Currently I put it in the bin. Should I put it in the composter, around rhododendrons, on rhubarb, spread it on the veggie patch before I plant anything? Or continue putting it in the bin? The wood I burn in the fireplace is various, silver birch, oak, elm, walnut, pine. Basically whatever I can get. I guess it does not matter once it is burnt. Does it help with acid/alkaline? Is it good for any plants in particular? regards Pete.

    Pumpkin Pete
  • 14/03/2005 09:02 PM
    • Becky
    • 19 Feb 2005
    • 56
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    hello Pete We always bring out our ash on our allotement, digging it in just before planting. Our neighbor, a little italian gardener, told us that it was especially good against lice on lettuce. I do believe it contains various other good nutrients etc. good for plants, but not too sure about it. Regards

    Becky, Switzerland
  • 15/03/2005 05:17 PM
    • ken69
    • Norfolk UK
    • 23 Nov 2004
    • 405
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    Hi Pete...wood ash is a potash so therefore could be put around toms or fruit trees once fruit is seen and around flowers in bud.But do remember but can't find that it retains it's goodness only when dug in or mulched over when still warm. Now, that could be an old wives tale.Something here.......www.woodash.net/

  • 18/03/2005 06:44 AM
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    Ken, I'm sceptical of that "when warm" bit.

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    Ow! My most of me!

  • 18/03/2005 09:53 AM
    • ken69
    • Norfolk UK
    • 23 Nov 2004
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    The RHS library mentions that if the ash is collected fresh, this will provide the nutrients in a soluble form, but seems not essential......So partly correct Advice Use of Wood Ash in the Garden Ash from untreated wood has a slight liming action and can be used to raise soil pH. Where ash contains larger particles, its incorporation also helps to improve soil structure. Ash produced from young sappy prunings contains a useful proportion of potassium and traces of other nutrients while older wood tends to contain lower concentrations of nutrients. If the ash is collected fresh, it will supply these in a soluble form. The actual nutrient content of ash varies so precise application is difficult. An alternative to soil application is to apply it in thin layers to the compost heap where it blends readily with other materials.

  • 27/03/2005 08:09 AM
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    Hi Everyone Thank you for your replies. I was watching Gardener's World recently and they also said to put 'wood ash' around fruit trees to encourage fruit. Not that I was looking for confirmation for your advice. So I am going to put the ash around fruit trees and tomatoes, plus put some in one of my compost bins. regards Pete

    Pumpkin Pete
  • 08/04/2005 09:11 AM
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    Ash contains potassium in very small ammounts and is also highly alkaline. In countries where wood is a significant fuel, such the USA, ash is an important liming material and also adds a little potassium. Just don't use ash from coal fires (can contain arsenic) or from painted or treated timber (might contain lead, copper, chromium or arsenic). The bogweevil uses ash on his garden with no apparent ill effects after several decades.

    Beware the bat-eared bogweevil