The ashes that you produce in your house when using the fireplace or making a bonfire, can be used to fertilize the garden or garden. The ashes of the wood contain essential nutrients for the development of the plants.
The ashes can be used to compost the soil in early spring, when the soil is dry and before the plants begin to actively grow.
- Most plants benefit from the potassium content of wood ash. They also have other nutrients.
- Wood ash has an alkaline pH and can correct very acidic soils. Be careful not to make the soil too alkaline, especially if you want to grow species that grow best in acidic soils, such as blueberries, azaleas or rhododendrons (Hydrangeas).
How to use the ashes
Apply 20 pounds (9 kg) of wood ash for every 1000 square feet (90 square meters) of soil in a layer on top of the soil. Do not leave concentrated ashes in heaps because too much salt can accumulate in some sections of the soil and harm plants.
Sprinkle the ashes between each layer of the compost pile. Ashes help break down organic matter as compost builds up.
Conditioning the clay soil with wood ash will help separate the soil and help it retain more air.
Fight pests and diseases in the garden and garden with wood ash. By spreading a light coating over the garden, the ashes will help repel worms, aphids, slugs, snails, and other insects. Reapply the ashes after the rain.
Use ashes in the garden with caution
- The ashes contain a large amount of caustic soda, which is a corrosive agent. Therefore, avoid placing them on the youngest plants. Use gloves to apply the ashes, and a mask to avoid breathing the residue. Protect your eyes with sunglasses or gardening glasses.
- Avoid using ash from cardboard, charcoal, or painted wood. These substances contain chemicals that can be harmful to plants.
- Observe the soil regularly to ensure that it does not become too alkaline. Use a kit to check the pH level or take a sample of soil from your garden to a laboratory to be evaluated. If the soil is too alkaline, sulfur must be added.
To produce more wood ash, choose hard woods over softer ones. Hardwoods produce 3 times more ash than softwoods.
- Consider adding urine to the ashes. A recent study on “Human urine combined with wood ash as fertilizer for growing tomatoes and its impact on the harvest and quality of the fruits”(Journal of Applied Chemistry to Agriculture and Food, 2009), determined that human urine, mixed with wood ash, causes significant improvements in the amount of tomatoes produced.
- Never apply wood ash to potatoes, as it encourages peeling of the skin.
- Avoid mixing wood ashes with fertilizers that contain nitrogen, as a toxic ammonia gas will be produced.