Have you ever heard of people using ashes in their garden and wondered why they were doing it? Well, they were on to something because ashes are, in fact, good for your home gardens. Not only does it make fireplace clean-up easier for you, but it can also provide rich nutrients to your plants and flowers. Read on to learn more.
Not all ash is the same. Hardwoods and softwoods produce slightly different potency levels. Hardwood ash, made from burnt oak and maple for example, is much more potent and is extremely high in nutrient and mineral levels. Whereas, softwood ash, made from burnt pine or firs, produce much fewer nutrients and mineral levels.
All this means that less hardwood ash could be used to produce the same effect as using more softwood ash. However, it’s important not to go overboard while adding ashes from your fireplace to your garden. If you add too much ash to the soil, it will raise pH to a dangerous level. This is why it’s important to monitor pH levels relatively frequently if you’re using ash in your garden.
Wood ash is surprisingly rich with soluble phosphorus and potassium – both of which are excellent for plants. Additionally, these ashes would fertilize your lawn, boost your trees by spreading it around the base, and add extra potassium to your tomato plants!
Now that you know that too much ash could be detrimental to your plant growth, let’s go over some general rules to follow to make sure you’re not oversaturating your garden with ash.
A general rule of thumb is to limit it to 10 pounds per 100 square feet per year. Anything over this could lead to high levels of pH as previously noted. It’s important to note that if you burn a lot of fires, you’ll likely produce more ashes than you could safely use in your garden.
Apply too early could lead to the ash just washing away, that’s why it’s important to only apply 2 weeks before you plant.
Make sure to remove any big chunks before applying ash to your garden. You could use ¼” or ½” hardware cloth to sift your ashes through this.
Would you like to learn more about your chimney or fireplace? Then give the team at Chimney Solutions Indiana a call at
317-757-6979 or send us a message through our short online contact form.
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