Wood Ashes

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by moonwolf, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    You firewood burners. What do you do with your wood ashes?

    I've got a pile from last year. The outside wood furnace using mostly poplar or ash about 10 to 12 cords per year in the northland here. I've also used them on the asparagus beds mixed with manure.
    What wothwhile use do you put your wood ashes? What if a pile left out is leeched from rain? What about making lye for soap using wood ashes, or does that make any sense?

    Mixing wood ashes with compost? Anyone do this, and what amounts?
     
  2. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    My birds love dusting in ashes. I not only have ashes from the wood stove but piles of ashes where I have been burning brush. All of the piles have become dust baths for the birds.
     

  3. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I've heard that's a great idea and keeps mites to a minimum on the birds. All those fowl I've raised in the past and they lived such a deprived 'ashless' existence. :no: :eek: :haha: Now, I'll know better.
    Thanks for that.
     
  4. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Only put them on the garden if you live in an area where the soil is acidic.
     
  5. jassytoo

    jassytoo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dhs Grandma used to sprinkle hers in the rows before she planted her root seeds. She said it kept the worms out of her radishes, turnips etc..
     
  6. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member

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    I leech the lye out of my woodashes to use as draincleaner and stump rot concentrate solution. The leeched out ashes then get mixed with green waste and allowed to vermicompost on its own.
     
  7. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    He Shrek how do you leech the ashes. I would like to try the stump rot concoction on the brush that Ii'm clearing from an over grown feild.
     
  8. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Though I've never tried making lye from wood ashes, I read about it in one of Rodale books. Also, here is a site giving direction on making lye or soap:

    http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_ashlye.html
     
  9. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

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    Don't put too much around the trees, just a little. I killed a couple smaller trees winter before last I'm sure by dumping too much around them. It was so very cold and such a long walk to the garden that winter. Then last winter I filled up a metal trash can with them, and then when all cooled spread them out on the grass yards to kill all the grubs, bugs, etc. They will sweeten up the grass.

    I need to invent/make a screen to get all the nails out of my ashes. We burn allot of scrap wood and pallets because our stove is outside. Don't like the nails & screws in my ashes. It's a pain, but we get allot of free wood to burn. We just got a whole load out of a warehouse. An armfull of 1 x 6's will burn hot half the day long. Cedar and building lumber is the best when it's really cold out.
     
  10. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure, but isn't cedar and evergreen ashes different than using hardwood ashes? I'm thinking if you want to use the ashes for composting or making lye, and such.
    Yeah, nails would be a pain, and I guess the best way is to shovel the ashes over rabitt wire screen to separate the nails.
     
  11. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

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    Probably, Moonwolf. I just burn whatever we have. We also get big free loads of slab wood from the sawmill. Not too thick, but it does burn good. The cedar slabs we ration, because they are so good. Love to have those first thing in the mornings to get it warmed up again. We save the big hardwood logs for over the nite time when Steve fills it all the way up. Since I am home all day, I burn the little stuff and scrap stuff.