fireplace ashes?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by MomInGa, Apr 15, 2004.

  1. MomInGa

    MomInGa Well-Known Member

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    Can we use fireplace ashes for something good? Would they go in the compost pile, or would help gardens?
    Just seems a shame to keep throwing them out.
     
  2. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I usually add a handful at the bottom of the potato holes, but I think it depends on the kind of wood burned also.
     

  3. flutemandolin

    flutemandolin mark an eight, dude!

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    If you have an outhouse, they are good for absorbing liquids and odors. I also compost them, but my soil is acidic to start out with so you might want to make sure it doesn't raise the soil pH too high.
     
  4. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    You can leach potassium hydroxide (pot-ash-ium [potash-lye]) out of them for soap. Or use as potassium-rich fertiliser. Highly alkaline soil-conditioner to use in acidic soil. Use as dust to make available for poultry dust-baths. And yes - works well in outhouses.
     
  5. Tinker

    Tinker Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I had heard they were good for your garden, so for several years, I just always emptied my ash can in to one of my flower beds, or the veggie garden. Never checked the ph levels, but my flowers sure did thrive. In the garden, it would all be tilled under in the spring, but in the flower beds, I just dumped them on top. I'm sure a lot of them blew away, but some had to leech down in to the soil too.
     
  6. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

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    i have always heard that you can put a circle of ashes around garden plants to detour slugs. They either wont cross it or they die when crossing it...something like that. We usually just dump under a new pine tree each year, then at the end of season, rake it out so it is not "lumpy" and it seems to disappear.
    Belinda
     
  7. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Be careful not to use too much! Believe me, you can. :no:

    Someone I know had been putting his ashes from his large outside wood stove in a pile for years. Then suddenly one day he came home and they were all gone. :eek:
     
  8. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Do not put Wood Ash in your Compost Pile.Just put it directly on your Garden,it will add Potash and Lime.

    big rockpile
     
  9. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    My daylilies have never been better since I started putting the ashes on them. I put them around my hostas also and I do think it has cut down on the slug damage a great deal.
     
  10. MomInGa

    MomInGa Well-Known Member

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    Super information guys and thank you! I had no idea so am most glad I asked.

    Again, thanks :)
     
  11. Paquebot2

    Paquebot2 Guest

    Contrary to what Goatlady says, ashes should not be used on potato ground unless your soil is so acidic that it's off the scale. Common scab is everywhere as an airborne disease but can only survive in soil with a pH of around 6.5 or higher. Adding ashes, when planting potatoes, increases the chances for scabby potatoes. If you were going to place any forest products in a hole with potatoes, pine needles would be best, especially if the soil is higher than neutral, 7.0.

    Martin
     
  12. Maniwar

    Maniwar Active Member

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    Martin (Paquebot) are ashes good for the garden? I've been looking through this forum and can't find it. I've been dumping my ashes in holes I've dug along with kitchen compost all year. Is this good or not? Should I stop dumping ashes in the garden? Also, are ashes good for blueberries?

    by the way, my soil is GA clay and I've been working it for three years. Still a lot of clay, but better than it used to be.
     
  13. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    Ashes are excellent for most fruit trees, but NOT blueberries. Blueberries need an acidic soil and ashes will raise the ph level.
     
  14. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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  15. Maniwar

    Maniwar Active Member

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    thanks all. That article was most helpful. I have GA clay and it tends to be acidic, so I'll keep dumping it in there for the rest of the season. I've been working the soil for two years now and it's better, but still clay past two feet. I also have a few fruit trees I'll put a little on. Thanks again.

    Daniel
     
  16. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Daniel (Maniwar), you dug this thread out from back when guests could post. Saved me the trouble of having to register each time from the shop computer!

    I agree 100% with the findings of Purdue University! Ashes in gardens are only good if the soil is highly acidic and needs neutralizing. As the Purdue site says, you'll just make it more alkaline if you already have alkaline soil. However, there is no need to consign those ashes to a landfill. Grass doesn't care if soil is acidic or alkaline. Thus you can actually spread those ashes lightly over your lawn and the grass will love it.

    In your case, you figure that you soil is acidic so you can keep doing what you have been. I wouldn't keep doing it forever without having a good pH test taken. It would be a bummer if you went from one extreme to the other. It's easy and cheap to go from acidic to alkaline. From alkaline to acidic is a whole different story!

    Martin
     
  17. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    my local newspaper just had an article stating that when ashes are used they should be used at a rate of no greater than 5 gallons per 100 square feet (10'x 10'). the effect is like that of using lime.

    what areas are prone to typically alkaline soil? just curious as ours has always been a bit acidic. i think most areas near me are as well. probably all of the coal power being generated near the cities. i am close to dc and baltimore.
     
  18. Outlaw9

    Outlaw9 GO VOLS!!!!

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    I remember my grandparents putting it on there driveway. They live up a hil and they would spread it on the drive way when it was icy or snowed. From what i remeber it seemed to work good.
     
  19. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Usually areas East of the Mississippi are acidic but it really depends on your rainfall. Areas with more rain are usually acidic and areas with less tend to be alkaline.
     
  20. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

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    OK, since my own composting debacle recently, I have pulled out the compost book, "The complete (Yea, they aren't kidding! It is almost 1000 pages long) book of composting"

    It says that you can use ashes in compost unless it is COAL ash. In fact, ash is listed as part of the DEFINITION of compost on pg. 19. if you have the book.

    Stuff this book says you can compost (OK I know there is more, I just started reading it.)... Sawdust "saturated with an aroma of meat and entrails which are rich in nitrogen." Chicken droppings, hair cuttings, coffee grounds, fish offal (whatever that means), grass clippings, trash refuse, debris, decaying animal and vegetable remains, cast off materials - anything decomposable". Haven't I heard some of you guys say that you shouldn't use animal parts b/c of disease risk? How much of this is a matter of opinion? Should I post this on another thread, BTW? I don't want to "hijack" the thread.
    Anyway, if the book is right, it would seem that ashes are OK.