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Caution! Girl working
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello :)

For the last few years I've been dumping the ashes from my wood stove on the snow in the front lawn and, come spring, the grass was a rich, dark green and grew like crazy for a few weeks wherever ashes had landed.

The ash is a result of both burned firewood and those bio brick things.

Question is, do other plants like ashes? I have to pour them somewhere and, since landscaping is minimal at this time, I'd love to encourage growth and health in what's been planted so far - 3 young rhododendron, several transplanted hostas, and lots of old pachysandra. Do any of those three plants like ashes?

Any ideas would be appreciated!
 

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Wood ashes contain all inorganic wood content with the exception of nitrogen (escapes as gas). People have been burning the fields since the beginning of agriculture.
 

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Caution! Girl working
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Discussion Starter #3
Will it hurt or help the rhododendron, hostas, or pachysandra? Those are what I want to grow faster and be healthy. Of course I want the grass to grow and be healthy, too, but it's pretty established and does very well all by itself. :)
 

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PE Mechanical Engineer
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Wood ash can contain soda or sodium carbonate, which is basic. Rhododendrons tend to like neutral or acidic soils. I'd watch your soil pH pretty carefully. If you dump a lot of ash it might shift your pH.
 

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Too Short? Cut it Again!
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The fact that your lawn is responding so positively to the ash suggests to me your Ph is off and it is lending a hand. You should get your soil tested or at least invest $20 or less in a Ph kit. You do not want to go overboard and skew things the other direction.

It is unlikely burned ash has any plant nutrients left in it but as mentioned it can dramatically impact soil Ph. Balanced Ph for the type of plant enables the plant to use nutrients better.
 

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In dry climates, nature uses fire to recycle soil nutrients.
Ash contains calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, magnesium, manganese and trace minerals used for chlorophyll and a list of plant enzyme and co-enzyme synthesis. It is even a food additive for animals.
 

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Too Short? Cut it Again!
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In dry climates, nature uses fire to recycle soil nutrients.
Ash contains calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, magnesium, manganese and trace minerals used for chlorophyll and a list of plant enzyme and co-enzyme synthesis. It is even a food additive for animals.
True enough.

I was suggesting you will not find the NPK nutrients in it though. Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.
 

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Hard wood ash is good for plants. Especially the root systems. After huge forest fires, when literally everything burns down, you find new plant life growing quite vigorously. So, wood ash does have its benefits. But, keep it in moderation so as not to tip the balance. The wood ash is highly alkaline in nature and little goes a long way. Plants loving acidic soils will not like your ashes.
 
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