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Using Ashes as Compost in The Garden

Gardens - A common question about composting is, “Can i use ashes in compost?” The short answer to if you want use wood ash as a fertilizer is “yes.” 

When it comes to using wood ashes for composting, there are many benefits to this method of weed control. One of the key benefits is that wood ashes break down rapidly, providing valuable nutrients for microbial decomposition. Microbes in your soil already live in an oxygenated environment, so adding more oxygen will not only increase their numbers but also hasten their growth. 

This means you won’t have to spend as much time or energy removing weeds from your plants as you would with other methods.

But why would you want to use wood ash as a fertilizer? 

First, it's inexpensive. If you use a standard 4-5 pound bag of wood ash fertilizer, it will cost you about $8. This is significantly less than other forms of fertilizers because wood ash is already treated and costs much less to transport and store. 

Second, it has been shown in some studies to improve soil quality in small amounts. 

Furthermore, using wood ash as fertilizer has been found by some scientists to be as effective as other methods at improving the soil on which growing crops are grown.

Using Wood Ash as a Fertilizer

Wood ash can be used as a soil amendment when added to the base mix of your compost pile. As it cools, it begins to dissolve and breaks down. 

It is an excellent organic fertilizer that contains iron and potassium. The breakdown products of wood ash act as organic pesticides, drawing pests such as insects and bacteria into the fray. When used as a fertilizer, it acts as an organic aerator that can pull moisture away from leaves and promote active growth.

If you want to use wood ash as a fertilizer, it is important to remember several things. 

First, it should be applied gently, ideally in small amounts. So, for instance, if you are spraying a garden using a garden hose, do not google "how to sprout seeds". Instead, think about what type of plants you would like to grow, and think about how often you would like to do this. 

Next, make sure that the application is well made. While some people find that simply spritzing the area with the hose works well, others find that it needs more attention. 

After all, it is easier to splash water on a dry spot than it is to ensure that all of the leaves on your plants are gone before you are done.

Other Wood Ash Uses in the Garden

Wood ash can be uses for pest control too. Salt content in wood ash will kill bothersome pests like slugs, snails and other kinds of soft bodied invertebrates. 

To use wood ash for pest control, simply sprinkle it around the base of plants being attacked by soft bodied pests. If the ash gets wet, you’ll need to refresh the wood ashes as the water will leach away the salt that makes wood ashes an effective pest control. 

Another use for ashes in the garden is to change the pH number in the soil. Wood ashes can raise the pH and lower the acid in soil. Because of this, you should also be careful not to use wood ashes as fertilizer on acid loving plants like gardenias, azaleas and blueberries.

When we use ashes for composting?

The right time to add wood ash to your compost pile is during the winter months when temperatures remain below freezing, preventing the growth of harmful microorganisms. 

This helps ensure your yard is free of weeds and insects but still promotes healthy growth of beautiful foliage. 

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