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wood ash on gardens

Posted by Bronwyn 
wood ash on gardens
May 26, 2006 05:32PM
Hi. I've been scattering the (cold!) ashes from the fire on the garden and suspect this should be very good for the garden. However, I also suspect that some plants may hate it. I'm wondering if ashes are acid or alkaline because I don't want to upset the acid loving plants I'm growing (camellias, rhodos, daphne etc). Does anyone have any ideas?
Re: wood ash on gardens
May 26, 2006 06:26PM
Ashes are very alkaline. They add a lot of potassium (potash, the K symbol on fertiliser packets etc). Spreading ashes is equivalent to spreading lime, so they're ideal if you have acidic soil and want to move it's pH towards the alkaline. I'd keep it away from your acid loving plants but a bit everywhere else should be fine.
Re: wood ash on gardens
May 27, 2006 02:49AM
It may depend on what you have been burning
I don't think the ash from treated timber would be very good

Bev M
Whitianga
Re: wood ash on gardens
May 27, 2006 06:49PM
I usually put the ashes on the vegetable garden. As it is winter, they have many months to be absorbed into the garden. Only untreated wood. I have never put ashes around other plants. Someone must be able to tell you.
Re: wood ash on gardens
May 28, 2006 03:30AM
I avoid the rhodys etc but my natives,fruit trees and vege garden get a good dollop of ashes followed by mulch all year(The mulch is from my prunings durin gthe winter)

i also add to the compost heap in thin layers to help it break down.
Remeber it washes away in the rain though.

I sometimes use a bit of coal and these ashes go to the fruit trees only.
Ann
Re: wood ash on gardens
May 29, 2006 12:38AM
Can you use a mixture of wood and coal ash for anything else around the garden?
Thanks
Ann
Re: wood ash on gardens
May 29, 2006 05:11PM
Oh dear, I kept the ashes away from my (known) acid loving plants but put it around fruit bushes, including two citrus. I think they hate lime so might have to put something else around them to counteract the ashes.
Re: wood ash on gardens
June 01, 2006 09:39PM
The ashes deter birds digging and stop slugs as they cant slither through the rough and nasty stuff.When the rain comes it washes it in but in the case of coal ashes it remains longer.
I use wood and coal some days and would reserve this for more robust plants as I think it can be too strong for seedlings.

Also ask the chimney cleaner to tip your coal/wood cleanings into a container for your garden/compost heap.Its fine as long as you dont burn a lot of treated wood(although the odd wee bit wont be too bad)
Re: wood ash on gardens
June 02, 2006 05:09PM
Coal ash should never be put onto the garden. This I heard from a gardening Guru.
Re: wood ash on gardens
June 03, 2006 09:24PM
Not sure about burning treated timber either. Isn't it poisonous?
Re: wood ash on gardens
June 04, 2006 06:38PM
You should not burn treated timber in your firepplace because of the costic nature of the treatment.
Re: wood ash on gardens
June 07, 2006 03:12AM
Have had no trouble with coal ash as I only use part coal.My fruit trees love it.
I agree about treated wood but sometimes a wee bit sneaks in put there by my not so helpful family.
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