What Happens When You Use Ash in the Garden?

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What Happens When You Use Ash In The Garden
What Happens When You Use Ash in the Garden? – Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61ryiTNYneQ


That pile of wood ash that characterizes your cold winter months: don’t be quick to shovel it out from your wood stove or fireplace! According to this video tutorial Mark from Self Sufficient Me, it can help promote soil amendments in your home garden. Using ash in the garden is part of nature’s recycling system — as evidenced by the thriving vegetation that succeeds bush fires.

The appeal of ash in promoting plant growth stems from its nutrient concentration. Although wood ash doesn’t contain nitrogen like decomposed parts of green plants, it is rich in elements that are essential for plant growth — including boron, calcium, potassium, and phosphorous. It is part of the natural cycle of soil fertility.

Another benefit of using ash in the garden is its impact on the pH level of the soil. As an alkaline substance, it raises the pH of the soil—similar to lime. (PS: Wood ash changes the pH of soil rapidly since it is water-soluble). But keep in mind that using wood ash as a way to raise soil pH is only applicable for acidic soils (below 5.5).

Raising the pH too high (above 7.0) may hinder the ability of plants to absorb nutrients—hence stunting their growth or even kill them. You should also avoid using wood ash on acid-loving plants such as Azaleas, Holly, Rhododendrons, and Blueberries. As a bonus, a fine layer of wood ash can be used to smother aphids on infested plants or repel snails / slugs.

Tips: It’s important to use ash from wood sources that are free of preservative (and treated lumber should not be burned, for the same reason – highly toxic fumes!) Remember to monitor the amount of ash you use relative to the prevailing soil pH level.


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What Happens When You Use Ash In The Garden
What Happens When You Use Ash in the Garden? – Images: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61ryiTNYneQ

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