Many people assume that the ashes from their wood stove or fireplace are waste and have no use anymore; thus, they dispose of them. However, this is not true. Ashes contain nutrients that were present in the original wood, like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients can significantly benefit the plants in your farm or garden. This is why you should consider adding your ashes to your compost. Additionally, wood ash has zero nitrogen and will not burn your plants.
Are Fireplace Ashes Good for Compost?
Adding fireplace ashes to compost is an excellent way of counterbalancing the green nitrogen-producing components in the compost, such as grass clippings. The ashes will provide the compost with a brown carbon-producing component. The dominance of nitrogen-producing components in compost can make it somewhat acidic. Wood ash counterbalances this acidity thanks to its alkaline nature. As a result, the compost will be better positioned to maintain a neutral condition.
Can Ashes Be Composted?
Yes, ashes can be composted, but there are some considerations that you have to take into account. First, add wood ash to your compost in moderation. Additionally, only use ashes of 100% natural wood for your compost. This is because the chemicals in treated or painted lumber will remain in its ashes, and these chemicals could hurt your plants. Here are the essential considerations to make when adding ash to your compost:
- Test your soil
Before adding ashes to your compost, you need to test the pH of your soil. The finding will determine the amount of ash you can add to your compost. You can test your soil pH using at-home pH test meters and kits that you can purchase from your local gardening supplies store or online. If you find out that your soil is acidic, you can use more ashes for your compost. This will work to make your soil less acidic when you apply the compost to it. On the other hand, if your soil is more alkaline, you should use very little ash in your compost to minimize the chances of making your soil more alkaline, which might not be suitable for some plants.
Also, wood ash should never make up for more than 5% of your compost
- Timing your compost
It’s critical that you check the weather predictions before composting your wood ash. It’s best that you start composting your wood ash on less windy days to lessen the wind’s chances of blowing and scattering the wood ashes. Additionally, time the application of your ash compost to your farm or garden when the rains are moderate. If there is too much rain, all the nutrients in the compost will be washed away as soon as you apply it to your garden.
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Categorised in: Fireplace Ashes
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