Ashes to Ashes

I have a new brasier (spelling?) and have used it a lot. Now its over half full of ash.
Is it safe to dump this, and dig it into the vegtable plot?
Thanks Steve Newport
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I wouldn't just dump the ashes. Wood ash is very alkaline and unless you have very acidic soil you will be disturbing the PH considerably. A light dusing if you need to lower the PH could be tried and may have some benefit since the ash contains lots of trace elements and mineral.
JEM

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Just supplimenting what Jim has written here -- I use some fireplace ashes mixed with high-acid materials like pine needles in the compost heap to help balance the PH.
--
Warm Regards,

Claire Petersky
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I throw my wood ash into my compost so it can get mixed in with everything else and add a balanced compost. provided my compost mix is correct I don't have to worry about acidity/alkalinity. Don't used ash from treated wood or, I have been told, coal ash.
rob
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Did you use charcoal or wood? I'm not sure I'd use charcoal ashes.
John!
Steve Newport wrote:

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I use a trash can full of wood ash every year (some 40lbs), in my two vegetable gardens. Half a brazier will not change the pH appreciably but will eliminate any possible K, Ca, Mn, B, Mg deficiency. If you used wood, fine. You can compute it yourself. My garden natural pH is 5.5, which is acid, and wood ash is 10.4. It will take approximately 2lb of wood ash to change the pH of 10 square yds by one unit.
If you used charcoal, if it was derived from wood, it will be fine also. I am not up to date as to how they make briquettes these days. In the old day, it was wood slow burned in a kiln. Also, you ought to know your pH. If you are in the East, you will be fine most of the time. If you have alkaline soil, it is a bad idea.
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I'm with you here-- I always spread wood ash on my garden back when I burned wood. [Actually on the 50 feet where I planted a double row of peas. Rotated around the garden. The peas liked the sweetness & the whole garden got done eventually.]
-snip-

I have seen repeated warnings *not* to use charcoal ashes as there are chemicals in the briquettes that kill plants. That might be true, but I've been dumping mine in a flower bed for 3 years [since we got rid of the propane grill] and it hasn't hurt the flowers any. I only go through about 100 pounds of charcoal per season, and I use Kingsford hickory flavored briquets exclusively. More ash or a different brand might harm something.
Jim
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If you want to burn your bra and dump the ash in the garden go right ahead and don't let anyone try to stop you.
David
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I just found this....
Source: http://hearth.com/what/ashremoval.html
Differences in Ashes
If the ashes are from wood, they make an excellent addition for gardens because they are high in potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, and phosphorus. In areas where there is high rainfall, the soils there are typically high in acid. Wood ash can actually help decrease that acid level. Dry areas, however, tend to be more alkaline in nature. Wood ash in dry areas can exacerbate that problem. Since regions will vary, it's best to have your soil tested through a local extension agent or garden center to see if wood ash can be helpful to your soil prior to applying.
If the ashes are from burning coal, then you must be more aware of proper removal for many reasons. First, you will have much more ash to remove versus wood. Second, coal ash is not beneficial to a garden because its potassium and phosphorus content are very low compared to wood. Third, coal ash also contains a great deal of other elements, such as cobalt, boron, and arsenic among others, which are toxic to plants, animals, and people. You must be careful when burning coal because ash can trap unburned carbon which means that more unburned fuel is tossed away with coal ash versus wood. What else can you do with the ashes once removed from the appliance? In more rural areas, people will place them on their driveway to help overcome a slick surface during winter. With coal ashes, you may do the same, but coal ashes can affect springtime vegetation as it washes away during the late winter. After a period of time when you feel that there are no longer any potentially "live" coals, you should bag and dispose of coal ashes at a transfer station or the local landfill.
---pete---
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I bung my wood ash on the compost heap thereby adding all the benefits of the ash to a balanced piles of nutrients. Mixed in with everything else it should not be too deterimental to alkaline soils though not as effective for acid soils by the sounds of it.
rob
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