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Ashes for the Garden???

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by NordicSplitter, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. NordicSplitter

    NordicSplitter Feeling the Heat

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    I know this may not even be the correct forum, but I want to inquire about using ashes from my wood stove in my garden for next spring. Has anyone every spread their stove ashes in the garden soil and if so...any results? Thanks as always

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  2. dorkweed

    dorkweed Guest

    Yes, you can do it. Just don't get a but think layer of it and try planting thru it. Before my wood stove, I dumped my fireplace ash in my vegetable garden over the winter, and tilled it into the soil in the spring. It's also good for your lawn. Just spread it out over the snow and it wont blow around so much.
  3. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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    We are planning to do this to, and coffee grounds as well. Not to mention all the compost we've been making from kitchen scraps and leaves.
  4. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    It will raise the pH (make it more basic) of your soil. If you have acidic soil, you can use it sparingly. If you already have basic soil, you should avoid it.
    I spread mine in the driveway for ice control, providing I haven't burned any kindling with nails in it!
  5. AJS56

    AJS56 Burning Hunk

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    Over the winter we spread it over the garden. Part of our garden is heavier clay and I thought it might help to loosen that soil a bit. I don't see where it's hurting anything so far after about 5 years... i haven't tried it on the lawn.
  6. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I have raised beds. I put all my ashes in the garden between the beds.
    Helps prevent weeds & bug don't like them much either.

    Too much in the soil where the root are will slow plant growth. Raise the PH. Garden soil needs to be slightly acidic. ;)
  7. dorkweed

    dorkweed Guest

    To the OP.................what they said^^^^^^!!!!! Forgot to mention the ph factor of the soil. The soil in my area runs acidic, so adding the stove ash to my veggie garden is a benefit for plant growth. Helps the lawn out also!!
  8. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    I have heavy, acidic clay soil. Over the past 12 years, I've added lots of ashes (basic) and coffee grounds (acidic) to the soil. I add more ashes where I plant melons, carrots and leafy stuff, and add more coffee grounds to my tomato and pepper areas. I work the soil in the spring and mulch a lot with hay, grass, leaves, etc..
    I have a pumpkin patch on a neglected grassy area, and an apple tree. Both have been improved considerably with Ph increase from the ashes.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    And if you have sand, you do need lots of lime. Ashes are called a poor man's lime.

    Just heed the caution. Spread the ashes; don't dump them. Spread them fairly thin and all is well. But even with good loam the ashes will not harm the dirt.
  10. oldogy

    oldogy Member

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    The best growing spot of my garden is where a brush pile was burned some years before I purchased the property. I throw all the ashes from the stove on the rest of the garden spot.
  11. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    Do a quick PH test on your garden soil. Ashes have extremely high PH. Even if you have acidic soil, it will only take a nominal amount of ashes mixed in to raise the PH to the correct level. If your are burning 24/7, or even way less than that, you will create way more ashes than you should ever put in your garden unless you have a really, really big garden. I really do wish it was a benefit, but adding more than a little or none at all and you're are likely hurting your soil.
  12. blacktail

    blacktail Minister of Fire

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    I've put ash in my garden. I'll dump a bucket on it now and then this time of year and till it in before spring.
    Moss likes acidic soil. I have moss in my garden right now.
    I also have moss in my front yard. I bought a bag of lime and spread it on the grass, then wondered why I don't just spread ash on the lawn. If the lime doesn't do the trick then I'll start adding ash.
    Most of my ash gets tossed in random places in the woods behind the house. A little bit in the garden now and then can't hurt since I have acidic soil.
  13. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    Its an excellent question...
    I would say experiment, spread ashes on half your garden and leave other half for your normal activities. In the spring have a county extension agent come take soil samples. The first one may be free. Have them test for pH and the three basics..potash(wood ashes), nitrogen, phosphous.
    That way you will know for sure what you need for sure.
    Ashes are very beneficial!! It is almost as valuable as the wood itself!!
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Ashes do work like lime but usually lime will last longer in the dirt unless it is pelletized lime. That usually is good for a year only; sor to like wood ashes.

    We have two garden spots. One is 90 x 100 but the other is a bit smaller. Lots of room to put lime. If there is too much I can always put on the food plots we plant for the deer.
  15. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    I put ashes between the raised beds, and a little bit on them, mixing with lime and other compost. Things that like a bit more acidic soil would like more ashes, including berries. So I spread mine pretty thick on my strawberries, rasberries and blueberries. I used to put sawdust on but I guess ashes are about the same?
  16. albert1029

    albert1029 Feeling the Heat

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    good to hear ashes work like lime...if I save some for the spring and early summer to use will it counteract the effect dog urine has on the grass?
  17. Bacffin

    Bacffin Minister of Fire

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    I mix the stove ash right in the with the compost and turn it every six weeks or so, then into the garden. Works for us :)
    albert1029 likes this.
  18. blacktail

    blacktail Minister of Fire

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    Ash reduces the acidity. I avoid putting it around my blueberries because they prefer acidic soil.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  19. JBinKC

    JBinKC Feeling the Heat

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    Wood ash is like 0-1-3 NPK fertilizer and is high in calcium carbonate a liming agent anywhere from 25-40%.It has a pH of 10-11 thus is a fairly strong base. I would test your soil before using it-knowing most garden vegetables prefer a soil pH of 6-6.8. It doesn't take much either to supplement. By all means I would never use it on acid loving plants like blueberries.

    A general comment if you water your garden with hard water I would avoid using it.
  20. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    There really isn't a mystery as to whether ash is a good idea or not for your garden. Do a PH test. If you have very acidic soil (which is generally pretty rare) adding some ashes to raise to PH will be of benefit. Most plants like slightly acidic soil anyway. If you don't have very acidic soil, adding ashes is not a good idea. The nutrients in wood ash are actually pretty minimal. The main effect of adding ash is raising PH.

    If you mix ashes in your compost, most of the calcium carbonate and nutrients will leach out in the rain. So, what you're left with won't really help or hurt your garden. Although too much in the compost will result in a pretty crappy draining soil.
  21. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    We do not put ashes around the berries or fruit trees. On the sawdust, whenever we've used that we've added lots of lime and nitrogen.

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