wood ash - ?

remind me, it's acidic isn't it, or is it alkaline? I'm 50% sure it's one or the other
been burning some old logs too big to shred
more to the point, should I dig it into the veg patch or not?
thanks all
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or
They're alkaline - just think in terms of how our pioneers made soap. Frank
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aha, you're one up on me, I'm in England, don't have any pioneers
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How about soap? :)
It's the same recipe, brought to here from there.
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Extract of wood ashes boiled with animal fat. Thank goodness you are not French, otherwise I would need to define soap ;) Frank
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It has been theorized that it was first discovered at sacrificial (human and/or animal) altars where fat and wood ash mixed accidentally.

Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark.
:)
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On Mon, 5 Feb 2007 17:45:11 -0000, "Oxymel of Squill"

Alkaline and loaded with micronutrients. If your veggie soil is acidic then spread it instead of lime. If your soil is alkaline then do not add to the problem.
John
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or
alkaline, does a similar job to lime it seems but takes approx 2 times the amount of ash as it does lime to achieve same results according to info you come across online. It does apparently act a lot quicker than lime however and can cause quite a dramatic shift in ph if used heavily.
It was used by our dads and granddads to add potassium to soil. It also adds some phosphorous. Can be added to compost or to garden beds or probably even as a side dressing with plants, acid loving plants probably not though and maybe when the soil is damp and some rain is expected.
Exactly when to add is something I wonder about sometimes. Obviously periods when potassium is lacking in plants is an ideal time, whenever that may be for you. If dug in before planting I am not sure how long the P & K will last in the soil, I have been told it will leach quite quickly. You may need to research that to ascertain when it can be applied for maximum benefit.
rob
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It leaches out very fast. so there would be little point applying it to an empty bed in winter. Store it dry till spring/early summer. The best use I found, is to lay a circle of dry woodash around the stems of cabbage, corn, tomato and lettuce seedlings immediately after planting out. Slugs won't cross the barrier of dry ash. Meanwhile the plants are getting a dose of potash. For the same reason, it's good to lay an ash circle round clematis stems just as new growth starts in spring.
Woodash is also a good spring tonic to soft-fruit bushes, like curants an gooseberries.
Janet
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wrote:

Mostly my experience too. Note that leaching will depend on organic content, and also P will probably not leach at all. In all-compost beds, one application in march is enough, as their pH (at least my beds) has been altered long term. One good rain is enough to soak it in. The other micronutrients are just as valuable as K. Typical content is several percent K, few percent P, 50% Ca, several percent Mg, and subpercent Cu, Zn, B, Mn, and other micronutrients which I have forgotten. pH is 10.4.
Virtually all green vegetables except chicory, in my experience, like a side dressing or two before and during the season. That includes bok choi, lettuce, cabbage, collard, kale, peas, string beans, chard, beets, and also carrots, parsnips, tomatoes, melons, squash, garlic and onions.

but most definitely not for raspberries or blueberries. It will kill blueberries in fact.

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"Though ashes do contain significant amounts of potash, they contain little phosphate and no nitrogen. Since one of the leading minerals in my area's soil(NJ) is potash you normally do not need more. Due to the fine structure of wood ashes, it seems that the material would have little value as a soil conditioning agent. Also, weathered wood ash has practically no fertilizing or liming value. However, one possible use for ashes would be as an addition to compost. Compost is normally acidic and the ashes would help neutralize the pH. N-P-K is 0-1-5."
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I spread thin layer all over the lawn and garden places.
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