If your house is equipped with a wood-burning fireplace or you have a fire pit in your backyard, put the left over ashes to work in the garden. As long as you follow a few simple precautions, wood ashes can be used to benefit the garden in three ways: as a fertilizer, as a soil amendment, or as an insect repellent.
If you're unsure of your soil's pH, don't add wood ashes to your soil until you have it tested. Raising the soil's pH above optimum levels can adversely affect the health of your plants. When pH levels rise above 7.0 (neutral), important nutrients like phosphorus, iron, boron, and potassium start to chemically bond to the soil and become less available to plants.
Handling & Storage
Ashes from charcoal grills should never be used in the garden due to the chemical residues left by processed charcoal. The same is true of ashes obtained from cardboard, and ashes from wood that has been pressure-treated, painted, or stained. All contain harmful chemicals that could potentially contaminate soil and inhibit plant growth.
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I have several old maple trees on my property. I'll hate to see them go. They are a comfort to me. Being old they drop lots of twigs. I was recycling the branches and twigs on the street until I realized wood ash could help with blossom end rot; they now have a purpose.
Use ashes from your fireplace to sprinkle in your garden. It wards off slugs, as well as many other harmful insects. The ashes act as shards of glass as they crawl on the dirt.
Don't know what to do with those ashes? This is a tip for those who have ash from a wood burner or fireplace. Place it in your garden or flower beds over winter, not all in the same place, just here and there.
A coffee can makes a handy shaker for applying ashes to your garden. Simply punch holes in the plastic lid with a leather punch, fill the can with ashes, and you're ready to go.
If you have a fireplace or wood stove, take your ashes and put them around your plants. Your plants will grow better, and less or no weeds will grow there.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
Can I use wood ashes on my pineapple and apple tree?
Hardiness Zone: 8b
Robert from Montverde, Florida
I didn't know pineapples grew on a tree.
Or is that a name for an oramental tree?
No one said pineapples grew on trees. If you look it says
pineapple and apple tree, not pineapple tree.
Can ash from a log burner be used in the garden?
It depends on two things-what you are burning, and what you are growing. The following link describes it much better than I can, but essentially, using the ash in your garden is a good thing-adding potassium to raise PH in too-acidic a bed, and providing some pest control as well:
My husband and I live in Scotland and burn primarily oak and larch (acidic). We do put the ashes from our wood stoves into the compost heaps and it seems to be a help to our garden beds.
Hope this helps.