Wood Ash for the Garden


Any way that costs can be cut while increasing productivity and health in the garden is a good thing.  One way to do just that is to use wood ash in your garden as a fertilizer.  Not only does wood ash contain calcium and potassium, along with other nutrients, but an easy-to-obtain byproduct of heating your home with a fireplace, wood stove, or a bonfire to get rid of dead branches and yard waste.  All that being said, don’t run out and smother your garden in a layer of ashes, it won’t have the desired result.

Here are a few thing to keep in mind when using wood ash as a fertilizer:


Keep it Dry

Some of the nutrients that you are looking for in wood ash are in water-soluble forms.  This makes them great for adding to the top of soil since the nutrients will be brought down the root zone naturally by watering or the rain.  But, if you leave it out where it can get wet, like in an uncovered fire pit that got rained on, then likely much of what you want in your garden is already gone

Check the pH

Since wood ash is alkaline you won’t want to add it to soil that is already alkaline or on acid loving crops like blueberries.  If you chose to add it to your compost pile it should be added little by little and not in a thick layer, that being said it can counteract the acid in material like citrus peels, so if you are composting acidic material you may want to add extra wood ash.


One of the best ways to use wood ash it to regularly dust your garden soil with it.  Allowing it all to go away naturally before applying more.


Making use of the material that you already have on hand, and might otherwise through away is a great way to cut garden costs while also increasing health and productivity.

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