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If you have a wood burning bar-b-q pit, you can get two big bonuses from it.

One - as long as you have wood you can cook.

The other use is from the left over ashes. Some people discard the ashes as a by product of cooking. Ashes are considered a problem to deal with because you have to have somewhere to dump them.

Ashes should be used as fertilizer for your garden. The ash is alkaline so it can be used to balance out acidic soil. Ash also has trace minerals in it that your plants can use.

To show everyone that I practice what I preach, here are a couple of pictures of me spreading ash in my raised bed garden.
 

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Yeah, but....

I'd be sure to point out that ash should be applied in limited quantities if at all and soil should be tested first. If it's at a good pH, and especially if it's alkaline, no ash should be applied. The potash found in the ash you apply is good for the garden but amending with lots of good organic matter, compost, compost, compost, will give the best results and provide the most complete nutrients for the soil.
If you don't raise any herbivores, there are undoubtedly people in the area who do and many will be willing to even load your pickup just to get rid of it, like my local goat dairy, nearby llama and alpaca raisers, and various stables. Manure from rabbits, llamas, alpacas or any of the various camel family can be added directly to the garden without even composting. From horses, cattle and especially poultry, manure must be composted, preferably by the hot composting method to kill the weed seeds.
Sometimes it's best just to keep your ash away from the garden.
MGSteve
 

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Never Give up
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In the moutain man group I was in years ago we use to use aspen ash for baking powder. Does not rise that much but it works. They use to use it when they were discovering America.
 

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Country Boy
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A little ash never hurt anybody :D: I put the ash from my woodstove not only in my garden but also spread it in my wifes flower beds, the plants love it
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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Unfortunately for us with alkaline soils, ash just makes it worse.
 

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Weed 'em and reap
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If you have a wood burning bar-b-q pit, you can get two big bonuses from it.

One - as long as you have wood you can cook.

The other use is from the left over ashes. Some people discard the ashes as a by product of cooking. Ashes are considered a problem to deal with because you have to have somewhere to dump them.

Ashes should be used as fertilizer for your garden. The ash is alkaline so it can be used to balance out acidic soil. Ash also has trace minerals in it that your plants can use.

To show everyone that I practice what I preach, here are a couple of pictures of me spreading ash in my raised bed garden.
So true. That little pile of ash has all of the minerals of several trees. The trees took the minerals from the soil, and to throw away the ash is to throw away more nutrients than any plant will ever need. People rape their soil and then don't understand why their soil gets depleted. :confused: :confused: :confused:

In the 1950's the idea became popular that phosphorus could be mined, and all of the phosphorus-bearing waste, plus the excess runoff, would just be discarded. Now the world is running low on phosphorus. This, after the same land has been continuously farmed for 4000-5000 years in many places. The mind just boggles. :(
 

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Weed 'em and reap
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Unfortunately for us with alkaline soils, ash just makes it worse.
Leech the lye out of it first, then rinse, and it becomes rather pH neutral. Mix it directly into your compost pile about halfway through the composting process. By the time all is composted, the compost will be just slightly acidic. It will amend your soil pH over time, without burning or excess salt formation.
 

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Son Of Liberty
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That's what i was going ask, I am going to start adding the wood ash from our wood stove to the compost pile and wanted to make sure it wont hurt anything. I just want to throw it in with no prep to the ash, is this going to be OK? My compost pile is rather large so the ammount of ash will be considerably smaller then the amount of food, garden, and yard waste.
 

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LASSIE! (I did it again)
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We had an annual fall ritual when we were growing up of burning our leaves and ornamental grasses on our garden plot and then tilling them in. I continue to do it to this day and always have gardens good enough to give produce to family and neighbors.
 

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the author of that book "How to grow more vegetables on less land etc etc...." recommends starting a fire and then covering with dirt to let it smoulder for a long time - he says the ashes that you get are excellent and didnt lose some minerals or something that you would ordinarily lose in a regular fire...
 

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Make soap using the lye from the ashes. Also, ashes control odors and flies in outhouses. I've also heard about using ashes to make baking powder...it doesn't have to be a particular kind of tree ash.
Ashes should be used only if the soil is acid. Most vegetables grow better in slightly acid soil (around 6.5 or so), but few can take very alkaline soil well (much over 7.0).
 

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Weed 'em and reap
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That's what i was going ask, I am going to start adding the wood ash from our wood stove to the compost pile and wanted to make sure it wont hurt anything. I just want to throw it in with no prep to the ash, is this going to be OK? My compost pile is rather large so the ammount of ash will be considerably smaller then the amount of food, garden, and yard waste.
You have to sprinkle it finely and mix it in. Then it will only have a small effect on pH and salt formation. Otherwise, you get a deadly alkaline lump in a too-acidic compost pile.
 

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So I have a question, if someone could posibly help me out. Our ph level where our blueberry plants are is between 6 and 7. And they like a level around 4.5. If wood ash was sprinkled around the base and watered down into the ground...would that help to lower the ph level??
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So I have a question, if someone could posibly help me out. Our ph level where our blueberry plants are is between 6 and 7. And they like a level around 4.5. If wood ash was sprinkled around the base and watered down into the ground...would that help to lower the ph level??
From what I understand, ash works like Lime. That it will help lower the PH level of the soil.

Lets say that your soil is a little acidic. Instead of spreading lime, you can use ash instead.
 

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Fled is that music...
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Another great use for ashes is to keep a bucket in your outhouse/composting toilet. Everytime the toilet is used scoop some ashes out sprinkle on a good thorough coating. Do this every time and don't use the outhouse for urinating and you will be able to stand inside it with the door shut and not smell a thing. We did this out at a 'hippie farm' I worked on few years back.
 
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