Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday Tip: Ashes as Fertilizer

If you have a fireplace a) I'm jealous and b) I hope you are using the ashes as fertilizer for your garden.  I'll make a contribution to get our garden ready for spring with our new firepit.  If you have either, consider gettin' the ground ready for your garden by recycling the ashes from your woodburning fire. 

The Science Behind the Fertilizing Ashes:

Ashes contain potassium which is a major plant nutrient.  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.

How to Fertilize with the Ashes:
Scatter ashes on freshly tilled soil and rake 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.  Note: you only need to do this once a year so don't overdo it!

Info source came from here.
Image source from here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...