Any uses for wood ash?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by smagrath, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. smagrath

    smagrath Junior Member

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    Well, winter seems to have come and for the first time ,we have a wood heater - is there any uses for the wood ash?

    Waste not; Want not; :D
     
  2. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    You can make lye out of woodash, if you are hardcore, and with lye, and some other stuff, you can make biodiesel, and/or soap...
     
  3. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Hiya Smagrath.

    When I was a kid [at the direction of my folks] I put all the ash our woodstove produced on the veggie garden. Just spread it out. Looking back and knowing now about lye, I wonder at its value.

    These days I put the charcoal on the vegie garden and the ash on any weeds. It's a good question which I hope someone can answer technically. I really am in two minds because after a bush fire many seeds germinate in an ash bed.

    Cheers

    floot
     
  4. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    Hi Smagrath,

    We have made soap with or own coconut oil using lye we made. It was long drawn out porcess, and it made great soap.

    The trick in making lye is to use only hardwood ash (so I was told by someone who knows more than I do), which is what we did, sitting the ash in water for months to get they lye.

    We now just spread it on the soil between rows of pineapple and vetiver grass, to help remineralize our acidic heavy clay ultisols.

    Lye is pretty cheap! We make soap now with store bought lye, and, often, with store bought coconut oil!

    Good luck!

    C
     
  5. Greenearth

    Greenearth Junior Member

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    Wood ash is a natural chemical fertilizer...

    ...I've just been into a local state conifer forest to collect several sacks for under the orchard trees etc...its always traditionally recommended as such anyway. I put a sack on the vegetable/cannabis garden last year and the plants grew very well. I remember film of them using wood ash on tomatoes during the war. Yes its a fertilizer man not a weedkiller. I also mix it with urine in the collector tubs to balance out the acidic piss...I think its alcaline maybe. Then tip this onto plants to give them a growth surge during late spring and summer...making sure u mix it up well before taking off some liquid. You're suppost to dilute the urine with water...otherwise it can be too fierce for plants...especially young plants. Its suppost to be rotten down (takes a few weeks) before you use it. (piss). I'm turning over the (cresent moon) veg garden to all perennials...as they are obtained/propagated. Vegetables take so much water..and we need a private rainwater collection system on a reasonably big scale here in the place in kent to water veg. That wasn't possible...(see masonic block channelling via me dad as described in other posts) and anyway perennials are less work. We have lots of space to fill up!...I'm always loking out for plants. You're lucky in austrailia, by the way, to have relativly much much cheaper availablity of dwellings with land...thats a major concern here. You basically have to be a millionare to afford a farm here in kent...and its not that much easeir in Wales anymore. Getting residential planning from scatch is not easy, especially for non profit louside of business paradigm options...I just cannot be bothered to blag them. A major head trip...I look at it...the unfairness, and I know, thank god, that this paradigm...this system...of money profit, and Mother Earth rape....is totally and completely fucked.

    EXODUS
     
  6. Ryan

    Ryan Junior Member

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    Wood ash, also called potash, is a good source of organic potassium to fertilize plants with. I did not know that you could make lye with it.
     
  7. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Using Charchol

    Wood ash has some value as a fertiliser.
    Charchol is far more interesting-
    One Sunday afternoon I started to watch what I thought was yet another dreary documentry on the foibles of the Amazon Rainforest clearing. It turned out to be a fabulous BBC documentary. Unfolding thousands of years of Amazonian agricultural history- (especially their use of charchol). Developing like a good detective story. I immediately saw the implications for all sorts of things composting, soil microrganisms, global warming, farming&gardening practices, using less fertilisers etc etc

    Since then I have been inspired to do some reasearch on Terra preta soils (or see Amazonian Dark Earths -in Permaculture forum.
    I have been putting everything I can find on Terra preta here:
    https://forums.hypography.com/earth-scie ... preta.html
    Please read and join in the discussion.
    There is still a lot to work out especially for Austalian conditions.
    I am trying to see how possible it is to duplicate Terra preta soils- at first in pots.
     
  8. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    All My woodfire ashes,charcole etc get sprinkled on any bad spots in my grounds,dont know what its got but its great stuff instant greening too

    Where are you man.I was born in kent 1954 moved to aussie in 69.
    Kent is a great area,full of history,the garden of england etc

    Terence
     
  9. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    90k N. of sydney

    Yes kent is beautiful.
    I once went to Sissinghurst garden.
    I was boweled over
    The most fantastically beautiful garden I have ever seen.
    I love Kent.
    It is the garden of England.
     
  10. Greenearth

    Greenearth Junior Member

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    Hi Terrance!

    ...so you must have moved with your family when you were 15 right?...and been the opposite side of the earth ever since...thats crazy man!

    Kent can be nice...I love sussex also, the weald and the forests especially when deep in cannabis trance...I got into lots of eco warrior type pixying...sabatarge...to the point where I just get up and do it in the motor...long lines of machines, or ideally the wee fill up tankers with just plain old Mother Earth! I started with sugar solution...like everyone is suppost to...but ran out first time I went out after a couple of machines and didn't feel inclined to stop. So anyway as I found out doing this means you go very deep into the goddess and the tree spirits. But you also become a target for the opposite energy to destoy and send mad instead of deep witch...but it operates on various levels including a emotion triggering defender of the mother and real England. I was going to make up some flags with an oak tree on them for use at various protests and events and things.

    So Kent ...r yes the fruit trees and blosson, very nice also. There are quite a few out the back of the house here. The house itself has a acre or so with anice 'bender'...it feels very safe...my parents garden. no fear of viggying (vigilantee attacks) here. Nice and relaxing...hot baths...comfortable like lazy cat. Belly expanding. Out the back anyway are 150 acres of abondoned for a few years orchard...I hope it stays that way because the birds are moving into it and the wildflowers in a month or two are astounding. The birds have right in my head since I got into this real time magic thing from India...just by accident there I didn't do magical courses or anything...and that trips gone a little crazy, with the birds singing tunes from my head...really...not even copying stuff they hear in the normal way!

    ...especially reggae tunes...

    dur dur dur dur dur,

    dur dur dur dur durrrr durrrr

    ...its like either you have two options...

    1/ God is great

    2/ The lunatic asylum

    ...I should probably get out and get some company...but I can't be bothered!

    ...this is my hideout...I made a deliberate decision to lie low here...(I usually live in North Wales)....and ended up getting heavily into the gardening nd propagating...anyway my life feels as though its coming to an end...soon to fall into the grave mate!...at the prematurly early age of 42. Should check out some people really....


    Om
     
  11. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    ashes to ashes...
     
  12. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

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    I put ashes and charcoal into my herb garden before planting and then fertilized with seaweed extract. The whole thing is coming along brilliantly.

    Leonie
     
  13. smagrath

    smagrath Junior Member

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    This is all really excellent advice! Looking forward to a few experiements, though I think making lye will not be one of them

    I think infinitegodhead has gone pretty herbal! Indiian herbs perhaps! Whatever works... venlafaxine for me!

    Keep yinning & yanging all!
     
  14. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
     
  15. mariet

    mariet Junior Member

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    any uses for woodash?

    I always use my woodash. The trick is to sprinkle lightly, like a handful to a square metre, no more if you want to alkalize your soil. It is the same as potash. The veges that like potash in soil preparation are onions, leeks, garlic and brassicas. Also broad beans. After growing crops that like heaps of notrogen such as green leafies or tomatoes, corn etc, the soil is more acidic as these crops like more acid conditions. The wood ash helps to balance for the next lot of crop rotation. I know worms don't like lots of woodash so don't put it into your wormfarm. It's supposed to be good to put where weeds grow in acid soild, such as cape weed and sorrel, however I haven't found that it helps. We put stacks onto the cape weed and it didn't falter at all.
     
  16. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Actually, there are some issues with wood ashes in the garden.

    When applied to the soil, it acts much like limestone by raising the pH or alkalinity of the soil. Unlike limestone, however, wood ash has high water solubility and works more quickly to change the soil pH. Where soils that are very alkaline and contain excess salts, wood ashes add to this problem.

    Wood ashes should not be applied around acid-loving plants, such as azaleas, rhododendrons, and blueberries.

    There is one more issue that the ashes contain a substance that causes problems. I read about it at Organic Gardening magazine forum, and I haven't been able to get there to find it again. :)
     
  17. Loris

    Loris Junior Member

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    Don't know why but my Dad always used wood ash on strawberries and peas. So I do. I guess it works.
     
  18. Jim Bob

    Jim Bob Junior Member

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    Wood ash works well on winter vegies, though you should hose off any that gets on the leaves.

    Aside from that, into the compost. Makes it slightly alkaline, but where I am that's fine - the natural soil is somewhat clayish, and thus acidic. So, balance!
     
  19. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Another very good introductory article on Terra preta:-

    https://www.philipcoppens.com/terrapreta.html

    What we know + a slighly different perspective e.g.,

    Philip Coppens

    Since the latter half of the 20th century, two leading thoughts have come to the forefront of humanity: one is the possibility that we can destroy our planet – and whether our industrialised economy is killing the planet, the second is so-called “terraforming” other planets – making them inhabitable and suitable for human habitation.
    Both “techniques” transform an existing ecosystem and reside in opposite camps – destruction and creation.
    Though topical, and for many perhaps theoretical, it is not a purely modern issue, an outcome of Man’s conquest of space, or the science fiction generations that have grown up in the 20th century.
    During that same century, it has become clear to science that people in the Amazon have created and used similar techniques – two millennia earlier.
     
  20. zoelee

    zoelee New Member

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    Wood ash

    I tip mine over the path. It stops the worms from making a muddy mess between the cobblestones.
     

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