What is Wood Ash Good For?

Don’t throw away wood ash! You won’t believe how versatile wood can be. Even in ash form, you can still use this in your garden. You can use wood ash for your lawn as a natural grass nutrient material. Wood ash can help you maintain a greener, healthier and thicker lawn. This guide will show you how.

Use of wood ash

What most people don’t know is that wood ash can be used as a lawn enhancer. It is perfect for growing grass. Wood ash contains more than 13 essential nutrients that garden soil needs to grow greener, healthier and thicker grass.

Experts say that these 13 nutrients can also improve plant growth, not just grass. You might have thought that ash is no more than waste; something that you just throw away in a bin. Actually, when wood burns, it releases sulfur and nitrogen.

But important nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and potassium remain. These elements make up carbonates and oxides that are important in lining soil. These can raise low pH soils, therefore, can neutralize acidic soils.

Nutritional value of wood ash

The nutrients found in wood ash will depend on the kind of wood that these were made from. The amount of ash may vary according to the type of wood as well. Hardwoods can produce three times the ash than softwoods.

This is also five times the amount of nutrients that softwoods can provide. Also, a cord of oak ash can provide potassium to a garden with 60 feet x 70 feet in the area while a cord of Douglas fir ash can blanket an area measuring 30 feet x 30 feet with potassium.

Aside from major elements like potassium, wood ash also contains micronutrients. Wood ash contains 15% calcium which is mostly lacking in soils and in commercially-prepared fertilizers. This can improve soil structure especially soil pH. This can dramatically change soil from acidic or neutral to an alkaline environment of 9 to 13 pH.

Wood ash is perfect for highly acidic soils

Different plants prefer different soil pH. Some plants and trees prefer acidic soils while some will grow well in alkaline soils. Wood ash will remedy highly acidic soils. It will raise soil pH and reduce potassium so that most garden plants can survive.

However, you must never use wood ash if your soil is alkaline because you might end up making your soil unlivable to most garden plants and grass. Remember never use wood ash with blueberries, azaleas, and rhododendrons. It is also not good with potatoes because this can cause scabbing.

Applying wood ash on grass

For lawns that need potassium, you must apply no more than 10 to 15 pounds of ash per 1,000 square feet. This is a good amount of potassium to amend grassy lawns because most of the potassium is washed away in the soil when it rains.

The remainder is usually used by grass and plants. Aside from using wood ash on lawns, you can also use it to fortify your compost. Simply mix wood ash to your compost pile and mix it really well.

Remember to wear protective clothing when spreading wood ash in lawns and grass. Use eye protection, gloves, and a mask. The right way to apply wood ash on soil is to place it directly on the ground; never throw ashes in the wind.

Use a small rake to distribute it in the soil. You must only use ash from burned wood and ash from the following sources: cardboard, coal, stained wood, painted wood or pressure-treated wood.

If you have excess wood ash, place this in a plastic or metal container and cover it. You must never leave ash in a concentrated pile because salts can leach in the soil and cause a lot of damage to plants.

The best time to fortify your lawn with wood ash is during fall. Don’t plant seeds or seedlings until at least two weeks after wood ash has been applied. Wait till your new plants are a few weeks old to apply wood ash.

Conclusion

Wood ash is still useful; you must never throw these away. The most common use of wood ash is a soil enhancer which can benefit plants and grass. It can improve acidic soils because it can raise soil pH and reduce potassium levels.

  • August 25, 2019
  • DIY
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