I would not use fire ashes on plants or compost due to the likely risk of
poisons from burnt coal that would build up in the soil over time.
I am not certain if such toxins would exist from ash of known woods. Perhaps
others could advise?
"Grandpa" <jsdebooATcomcast.net> wrote in message
Depends what you use as fuel.. Large chopped logs contain very little
in the way of beneficial nutrient. SMALL woody clippings contain
appreciable amounts of potash.. but it will leach if rained on.. SO keep
covered and introduce into copmpost in a controlled manner..
Be aware alsothat bruning some woods (eg laburnum etc) releases toxic
Soot/Ashes and cinders from coalite/coal are best used for paths, slug
barriers etc only in limited amounts as can be quite toxic.
On Fri, 07 Nov 2003 10:41:12 -0700, Grandpa <jsdebooATcomcast.net>
Use them! They are also beneficial to use directly on shrubs, trees,
and lawn. You can use them to encircle your plants to ward off slugs.
Ashes are potash rich. They tend to make the soil alkaline, so avoid
using ashes on acid-loving plants. Ashes can also be used on ice
patches on steps, driveway--more kind to plants than using salt.
I agree with this advice. I put ashes in my compost, but because it's pH is
so high, I usually wait until my composting process has slowed down to avoid
getting ammonia, and thus a bad smell and loss of nitrogen. Because my soil
is naturally acid, I also put ashes around my liliacs which like alkaline
conditions. I don't think ashes in reasonable amounts are going to make any
significant effect on the compost pH, which tends to be neutral, no matter
what you put in it (assuming normal type waste, not battery acid).
On 11/8/03 8:07 AM, in article
jU5rb.35141$ email@example.com, "Compostman"
I am finding this all very interesting - here in NE, normal fireplace and
woodstove ashes are highly recommended to spread over the soil or in the
compost. (I think they included pellets and those new corn product pellets
in this.) What I do know is don't use coal or manufactured charcoal ash.
I have to disagree - I have done large scale R&D on composting and pH will
change dependent on material.
A reasonable amount will not affect - but as I said I have a woodstove and
one winter of constant burning can certainly result in an unreasonable
amount. Also due to the low porosity value of ash - it will lead to
anaerobicity if added in too high a volume.
Speaking of composting, my pile (I'm new to composting) is on a side of
the house that gets sun for maybe 3 hours a day at best. In order to
keep it warm I covered it lightly with a hunk of old solar blanket from
our pool (which is now a beautiful garden). This of course keeps the
rain (like we have any in Albuquerque) out and most of the moisture fom
frost, like we have much of that either. Any recommendations re: if I
should remove the cover for the winter and let nature take its course or
keep it covered. The enclosure is of oak pallets so it has lots of air
flow around it,
I'd ask at a pool supply store & see if they have a few scrap pieces
around. I paid $110 for the 20'x40' one I had on our pool<sigh>. At
least the pool AND part of the blanket are now doing double duty<G>.
Tina Gibson wrote:
It's not necessary to put compost piles in the sun. Mine are under a tree
in permanent shade and they stay very hot. Actually sun, especially in a
dry climate like where you live can be bad because it can dry out the pile.
Your solar blanket may be doing more to keep your pile from drying out than
keeping it warm. Bacteria are the primary source of heat in a compost pile.
On Sun, 09 Nov 2003 21:38:54 GMT, "Compostman"
Mine are in the shade too. They are steaming hot. I am fortunate to
be near a mountain stream and use that water to keep the piles moist.
Without water, the compost piles (like most living things) die.
Mine are in the shade as well and are very hot in the summer. But - in temps
of -40 they freeze right through. So in this case the solar blanket helps
prolong the compost season a month or so.
I've been putting my fireplace ashes in my garden for 13yrs. We only burn red &
white oak and maple. When this question came up on this message board last
year, someone advised me that I should not be telling people this because their
soil might not be the same as mine and it might not be a good thing for them to
I have a beautiful veggie garden every year. I had enough cukes to can 95
jars of pickles this year.
Sue in Mi. (zone 5) and COLD tonight!!!!
Cold here too!!
I think as with everything in a garden - try it! If it works for you good -
if it doesn't well at least you tried!!
I grow a lot of tomaotos and rotate beds often. We have alkaline soil so I
don't add any more ash. Doesn't mean I never will again though!
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