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What do you do with your ashes?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by sixman, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. sixman

    sixman Feeling the Heat

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    This coming winter will be my first year burning wood and had planned on putting the ashes left over on my garden for fertilizer. Just wondering what everyone else is doing with their ashes.

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  2. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    I spread them over my lawn when it's not snow covered, generally just before it rains so the dogs don't track them in..or.. put them back out in the woods where they came from. Could make lye out of them.
  3. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    How does that work out for your lawn jpl? Does it kill dandelions?
  4. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Throw 'em in the garden.
  5. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    Gardens.
  6. rottiman

    rottiman Minister of Fire

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    I have a large driveway which has a noticable incline. Whenever we get an Icy day I spread them on the hilly part of the driveway. The fine woodash grips glare ice and the driveway becomes like a dry road in terms of traction. You want to make sure to keep them from any area that you walk thru to avoid tracking. Using them as opposed to melter or salt saves the driveway and the enviroment and the spring rains wash them into the ground. What I don't use on the driveway goes on the lawn.
  7. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    Garden and/or compost pile
  8. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I use it on my ice, throw it on the lawn, put it in the garden, compost it, use it in glazes for pottery, have used it in tanning a deer hide, etc. etc.
  9. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    I just spread it back in the woods.

    Ok, I don't really spread it..

    I walk out 30' or so into the trees and dump it.
  10. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Lawn . . . woods (especially if I've been burning pallets) . . . garden (but not too much to upset the balance of the soil) . . . but mostly during the winter I put them on my driveway . . . adds traction and helps melt the snow and ice.
  11. Dieselbreath

    Dieselbreath Member

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    I spread it around the perimeter of my garden and it keeps the slugs out.
  12. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    How much is too much for a garden? I'm planning on putting some in my (about to be built) raised beds, but don't want to add too much of a good thing here...

    Thoughts?

    And for those spreading on the lawn - how do you deal with the chucks? Pick them up after a rain or just let them work their way into the ground over time?
  13. par0thead151

    par0thead151 Feeling the Heat

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    i want to know this as well.
    i spread some on my lawn, but found it hard to evenly disburse the ashes, and the chunks remained there for weeks
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Ashes are a poor man's lime.

    We've spread ashes on our gardens for many years. The only caution is to spread it thin; definitely no heavier than you would if spreading lime. The problem is if one just dumps the ashes, nothing will grow there for a year or more. One time I didn't see one of my sons dump some ashes on the garden and he got lazy and just dumped into a pile. When I started garden work I naturally spread them out....but nothing grew where that little pile was and it was only a bucket full of ashes. The following year was okay but not that year.

    When you spread the ashes you only want a very light coating. If you think you are spreading too thick, you are.
  15. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I'm looking at mixing some into new raised beds - thus 'spreading' doesn't really seem to apply. Rather I'm going to be getting a load of dirt (whatever the best bulk I can find for reasonable $'s short of buying potting $oil) and then adding in some compost etc where the ashes are part of the 'etc' - when filling a 4x8x1 box of dirt I was thinking about 1/2 of my ash pail would mix in well enough - thoughts?
  16. Got Wood

    Got Wood Minister of Fire

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    Any good approaches for spreading thin? Would a rotary spreader (like for for lawn fertilizer) do the job?
  17. sixman

    sixman Feeling the Heat

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    I would think that you could just take the buckets of ash and pitch them on the garden throughout the winter and till it all in real good in the spring and that would do the job. That gets some of the ash down in the dirt with no huge concentrations in any one spot.
  18. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Kinda similar to what I do....just when it snows it tough to see where you dumped the last pail of ashes :)
    You can check out your accurance after the snow is melted and then just till it in.
  19. ChillyGator

    ChillyGator New Member

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    I like to HAUL ASH :red:
  20. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I'm hoping to have enough left over for a copper coffin from Costco.
  21. SteveKG

    SteveKG Minister of Fire

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    If spreading ash on a garden, I would encourage one to get an inexpensive pH tester [$25] and use it. Depending on a number of factors, such as the pre-ash starting pH, the type wood burned, the chemical make-up of the soil, and so on, the garden can become quite unbalanced.

    On the other hand, if you are not talking about a layer of ash several inches deep across the place, it probably won't matter...as with tilling in a small amount. However, if the soil is marginally ok, the ash could push it past acceptable. Some plants don't care too much, if it isn't extreme, and can thrive across a pretty wide pH band; others care very much. A friend of mine had some chickens, and he dumped mounds of chicken manure [not composted] and mounds of stove ash on his garden soil all winter. He was unable to grow very much for several yr. afterwards. Except some very hardy and tenacious weeds.
  22. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I'm always amazed how well they work for this. Even a very thin layer allows you to walk or drive where you couldn't before.
  23. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    Both my mom's and my dad's ashes will be tossed to the wind atop Mt. Soledad.
    Mine go in the yard.
  24. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Same here . . . there have been a time or two when I've been stuck . . . just tossed half a spade's worth of ash underneath the tire and came right out as if I was driving on tar.
  25. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    RE: Spreading on a garden. Technically it would be best to get a soil testing kit . . . but I'm too cheap. Instead, I'm like Dennis (we tend to do many of the same things and think alike . . . except we vehemently disagree on the best way to run a splitter) . . . I tend to spread the ashes relatively rarely on the garden . . . and always spread it thinly . . . usually using a small garden shovel to scatter the ash here and there.

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