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How to use wood ash in the garden
Don’t bin the contents of your wood burning stove into the rubbish bin. Wood ashes are a high value addition to your garden. However ashes from treated wood or burnt trash should never be used in the garden.
The 8 Best Uses of Wood Ash in Gardens
- Wood ash is a great natural fertalizer
- Wood ash as a soil balancer
- Benefits most vegetables and garden plants
- Wood ash may prevent plant diseases
- Reduces compost smells
- Wood ash deters slugs, snails and ants
- Wood ash as a lawn moss killer
- Wood ash paths
Wood ashes, if kept dry, are splendid for digging into the soil, this is because for their content of potash (approx. 2½ percent, but very variable) and their physical value to the soil. Heavy soils are opened if a little charcoal residue is retained, but the fertilising agent is the ash. Coal or coke ash is not valuable and should not be used until well weathered, and then only of necessity.
Wood ash in the vegetable garden is beneficial for plants like peas, parsnips, beans, and carrots. Lilacs, fruit trees, grapes and most garden plants benefit from a light wood ash application to the soil. Wood ash can also be used to prevent and treat blossom end rot, vegetables that are susceptible to this disease, like cucumbers, squash, and peppers, just toss a handful of wood ash into the hole before planting.
I’ve found that the best time to apply the ash is in the winter, straight from the cooled fire place. A little goes a long way. Just make sure you keep it away from acid loving plants such as blueberries, potatoes, azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias.
Do you have unwanted pests in your garden? Wood ash makes a great natural snail and slug repellent.
Wood ash in compost is another great use for your wood ash – simply add it to your compost bin or compost heap. Wood ash to compost is a great ingredient to add for reducing smell and pure wood ash consists of calcium, potassium and magnesium. Because it contains calcium it will raise the pH of the soil, and can be used on acid soils instead of lime.
Have a problem with lawn moss? The wood ash effectively ruins the soil for moss, killing it and encouraging grass to grow. I have greatly improved places in the lawn where thick moss was trying to take over.
Wood Ashes are valuable, too, on greenhouse benches for the reception of pots. If dampened they help in retaining moisture and make a useful base.
Ash Paths. Useful paths that drain quickly can be made of ashes and cinders well compacted. The usual method, where sandstone paths are an easy alternative, is to make a cement wash, or use them for a concrete mixture, which makes a lasting pathway.