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Eight uses of ash in the orchard and garden

If you have wood heating, or a fireplace, in the cold months you will have to clean ash frequently. Before long, you’ll be racking up a couple of buckets of ash a week. What to do with all those leftovers? They can be very useful in your orchard or in your garden. Let’s try to put this gray and dusty by-product to good use.

According to the portal ‘Ecoinventos’, the ashes and the pieces of charcoal are packed with minerals. In addition, its natural alkalinity and slightly abrasive texture mean that wood ash has many uses in the home, garden or orchard.

It is important to note that this list assumes that you are burning clean wood and not chemically treated woodlike the painted one. Hardwoods typically have more nutrients than softer woods like pine, but softwoods produce a softer ash than hardwoods.

Fire ashes have many interesting uses around the home.

The embers can remain hot for days. Make sure the wood ash is completely cool before using it at home.

A good recommendation to start: wear gloves when working with wood ash.

Uses of wood ash in the garden

They say in ‘Ecoinventos’ that wood ash is enriched with many of the minerals it contained when it was a tree: calcium, potassium, magnesium and other trace elements, to name a few.

Keep in mind, if left outside in the rain, it will quickly lose all of its beneficial water-soluble minerals. So you should keep the ash well.

Keep in mind not to use wood ash for plants that prefer acidic soil, such as potatoes, blueberries, hydrangeas or azaleas.

Uses of wood ash in the garden

Correct the acidity of the soil. You can use the ashes to help balance the pH of acidic soils. It is best to first test the pH of your soil before applying it, but in general, for every 10 square meters apply between 2-4 kg of ash. The best time to do this is before planting, when you can put it directly into the ground. If you apply wood ash to soil with young, growing plants, be sure to rinse them off afterward, as the ash can burn young leaves.

Improve your compost. Ash can increase the microbial environment of your compost, they provide your compost with much needed oxygen, making the microbes very happy. The porous nature of charcoal also means that all of those minerals in the ash are absorbed and kept in your compost, rather than lost to rain.

Stop the snails and slugs. Snails and slugs can wreak havoc in a garden. You can stop them by making a circle of ash around plants that are susceptible to snails and slugs.

Eliminate fruit rot. Seeing that first black spot on your tomatoes is enough to make anyone cry, because you know it’s just the beginning. Avoid it early in the season by giving plants an extra dose of calcium. When planting tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and peppers, sprinkle a small handful of wood ash into the hole before putting the plant in the ground.

Eliminate algae from stagnant water. When it comes to using ashes in a water pond, a little goes a long way. You can use approximately one tablespoon for every 4,000 liters of water. If you are not sure of your water volume, be careful; start small and give it a few days before adding more ash.

Prevents crops from being damaged by frost. When temperatures begin to drop in the fall, the threat of frost begins. You can dust your plants with a little powdered wood ash to prevent frost damage.

Save the seeds for next year. Seeds that are not properly stored lose their viability and do not germinate. Storing the seeds in a good insulating medium that absorbs moisture is essential. Add ashes to the container you keep the seeds in to reduce moisture and protect them.

Encourages ants to move. Throwing ashes into an anthill will encourage them to pack up and find another place to live.

Reference article: https://ecoinventos.com/usos-de-la-ceniza-en-huerto-o-jardin/#more-124048

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