How to make potash?

Hi i heard potash is a good feed for plants etc but is there a certain type of wood i need to use? also can i use it straight the way after i have made it?
Sorry i posted somewhere else on the forum but thought it maybe better in here
thanks
--
Nate420


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If you have a fireplace or a wood burning stove, all you need to do to make potash is to burn wood to heat your house. You save the ashes from the fireplace, sieve the ashes to removes the big chunks of charcoal, and then spread the ashes round the garden in a light (and I do mean light - like icing sugar [confectioners sugar in US] on the top of a cake. don't waste the charcoal, crush it and spread that too as it's 'biochar' and good for the garden.
All wood has some potash. It probably does vary from species to species but since gardeners used ashes for millenia and couldn't buy a nice plastic bag of potash and they still managed to garden, I don't think it matters a tinker's damn what level of potash the wood has.
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Nate420 wrote:

It's easier to buy it in the form of Potassium sulphate, which you should be able to buy in a good garden shop. In case you were concerned this is an approved input under most organic systems. You can make your own by burning wood but its messy and the resulting ash is quite alkaline which may not suit your garden. Yes it could be used straight away once it is cool. In either case apply in small quantities and water in well.
David
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Careful, there's more than one "potash": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potash
More specific to your question here: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-potash.htm
I'm lucky here to have lots of live oaks on my 5 acres. Trick is to get the fire hot enough for all to burn so you don't have to mess with any half-burned stuff removal.
My dad made lye soap a few times when I was young. I remember its not so good aroma, and how it lightly burned the skin while bathing. In the eyes or on an open wound was very painful.
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Any old untreated wood ash. Originally it was obtained by leaching vegetable ashes and evaporating the solution in iron pots.
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- Billy
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I said wood ash but as you can see ashes from any, untreated plant will do.
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On Tue, 26 May 2009 20:51:51 +0100, Nate420

Willow makes a very fine ash, but any wood will work. Spread the ashes evenly and lightly. Check your pH, and again in 3 months.
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wrote:

Lump charcoal ashes, such as Royal Oak or Cowboy.
With such a crude source, how will you know how much potassium you're actually adding?

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