Helpful Wood Ash Uses in the Garden

by Samin Rizvi

If you’re a wood burner, knowing these Wood Ash Uses in the Garden would be the best thing for you. And, even if you’re not, give this a look!

Chemical Composition of Wood Ash

Calcium is the most abundant element in wood ash and gives it properties similar to agricultural lime. Ash is also a great source of potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. In terms of commercial fertilizer, the average wood ash would be about 0-1-3 (N-P-K) because it contains no nitrogen.

Wood Ash Uses in the Garden

Make sure that you are not using ash that’s been doused with accelerants and chemicals. 

1. Rectify Acidic Soil

Wood ash is a great soil amendment for overly acidic soil and is rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and aluminum. Adding wood ash to the soil works in a similar manner to agricultural lime.

2. Kill Weeds

You can use wood ash to get rid of weeds like thistle, kudzu, or Japanese Knotweed. Apply too much wood ash to the area where you spot them and water. They will eventually die.

3. Boost Compost

To charge your compost heap, spread some wood ash, as it helps boost the nutrient-dense microbial environment already building up in your compost. This also ensures that minerals from the ash are all absorbed into the compost instead of being leached out by rain.

4. Strengthen Plants

Calcium-loving plants such as carrots, tomatoes, spinach, beans, broccoli, celery, peas, avocados, and garlic tend to thrive with an application of wood. However, avoid using wood ash on seedlings, as it damages young plants.

5. Make Ash Tea for Your Plants

 Super organic, all-purpose fertilizer, just like compost tea, that is made to prevent or rectify any potassium deficiencies. Brown spots, yellowing between leaf veins, curling leaf tips, and slower plant growth could be sure telltale signs of potassium deficiency.

To prepare an ash tea for your plants, place five pounds of ash in a cloth bag or use an old pillowcase and tie it closed. Now, place this bag in a 50-gallon garbage bin filled with water and let it steep for 7-10 days. After that, you can pour this tea around your potassium-deficient plants.

6. Prevent Blossom End Rot in Tomatoes

If you spot that first black splotch on the bottom of your tomatoes, you may know it’s an indication of blossom end rot. Apply a handful of wood ash just before the plant starts to flower to avoid it.

7. Save Plants from Frost Damage

Dusting the foliage of your plants with wood ash will save them from frost damage. However, it is not a sure-shot solution to keep them safe from extremely lower temperatures, but it works.

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