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Wood ash as fertilizer

Discussion in 'Organics' started by BC Budman, Oct 4, 2008.

    BC Budman

    BC Budman Active Member

    I have read that ash can be used in a soil mixture as applied as a fertilizer. Just wondering if anyone has had any luck with it and what the best way to apply it would be.

    I was thinking I would mix it in with water but i am not sure what proportions to use.


    henrystyle Active Member

    I believe wood ash is potash! I remember watching a youtube video of this old man in australia growing weed. All he did was use it as a top dressing...water it in... I know you can use the ash from natural lump charcoal, not briqettes..
    Hi in potassium. N.P.K.
    Wood ash - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    EKIMRI Well-Known Member

    Increases pH so you gotta be careful of locking out other nutes... Good organic way of solving acidic soil problems.

    EKIMRI Well-Known Member

    Found this: ​
    Wood Ashes as Fertilizer​
    There has been considerable talk lately of recycling yard prunings and clippings as mulches and composts. Another source of recyclable materials is the ash from the fireplace or barbecue. At one time wood ashes were a chief source of potassium and much used in farming and horticulture. While not an important fertilizer anymore, gardeners with a supply of ashes often want to know if they would be useful as a fertilizer or soil amendment.

    The answer is yes, if used appropriately. The benefits derived from ashes depend on your soil and the rate at which the ashes are applied. Generally, ashes contain potassium, a major plant nutrient plus a number of minor nutrients. Wood ashes contain all the mineral elements that were in the wood, except for nitrogen and sulfur which are lost through the burning process. Potassium, calcium and magnesium carbonate or oxide are present in comparatively large amounts giving the ashes a strongly alkaline reaction which can neutralize acid soils. However in soils that are already alkaline, high application rates can be harmful. A further compounding problem is that about 80 to 90 percent of the minerals in wood ashes are water-soluble, so that high application rates can cause salts to build up in soils, resulting in plant injury.

    As a plant food, ashes contain 5 to 7 percent potassium and 11/2 to 2 percent phosphorous. They also have 25 to 50 percent calcium compounds. Hardwood (e.g. oak) ashes contain more potassium than those from softwoods (e.g. pine). If left out in the rain, because these nutrients are water-soluble, the ashes will lose their nutritive value. The less soluble carbonates which cause alkalinity will remain longer.

    So how to use ashes? An average application is 5 to 10 pounds per 100 square feet, scattered on a freshly tilled soil and raked in. For a pre-plant treatment, it is best to apply ashes 3 or 4 weeks in advance of planting. They also can be sidedressed around growing plants or used as a mulch. A ring of ashes around a plant may ward off snails and slugs because the ashes are irritating to them.

    In order to avoid problems of excess salinity or alkalinity, the applications should be limited to once per year. Avoid contact between freshly spread ashes and germinating seeds or new plant roots by spreading ashes a few inches away from plants. Ashes that settle on foliage can cause burning. Prevent this by thoroughly rinsing plants after applying ashes. Because they are alkaline, avoid using ashes around azaleas, camellias and other acid-loving plants.

    Remember that ashes contain very little nitrogen, so your plant's need for this element must be met by other sources in a regular fertilizer schedule.

    henrystyle Active Member

    Wow, i was right!!!! Lmao

    brendon420 Well-Known Member

    cool thanks everyone i was wondering about this topic myself.

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