If you’re a wood burner, knowing these Wood Ash Uses in the Garden would be the best thing for you. And, even if you’re not, give this a look!
Most of us may not burn as much firewood as we used to anymore, but doing so will be a lot beneficial for our gardens! Because wood ash is a good source of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, aluminum, boron, and many other beneficial plant elements.
Check out some awesome vinegar uses in the garden here
Chemical Composition of Wood Ash
Calcium is the most abundant element in wood ash and gives it properties similar to agricultural lime. Ash is also a great source of potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. In terms of commercial fertilizer, the average wood ash would be about 0-1-3 (N-P-K) because it contains no nitrogen.
Wood Ash Uses in the Garden
Make sure that you are not using ash that’s been doused with accelerants and chemicals.
1. Rectify Acidic Soil
Wood ash is a great soil amendment for overly acidic soil and is rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and aluminum. Adding wood ash to the soil works in a similar manner to agricultural lime.
2. Kill Weeds
You can use wood ash to get rid of weeds like thistle, kudzu, or Japanese Knotweed. Apply too much wood ash to the area where you spot them and water. They will eventually die.
3. Boost Compost
To charge your compost heap, spread some wood ash, as it helps boost the nutrient-dense microbial environment already building up in your compost. This also ensures that minerals from the ash are all absorbed into the compost instead of being leached out by rain.
4. Strengthen Plants
Calcium-loving plants such as carrots, tomatoes, spinach, beans, broccoli, celery, peas, avocados, and garlic tend to thrive with an application of wood ash. However, avoid using wood ash on seedlings, as it damages young plants.
5. Make Ash Tea for Your Plants
Wood ash tea is a super organic, all-purpose fertilizer, just like compost tea, that is made to prevent or rectify any potassium deficiencies. Brown spots, yellowing between leaf veins, curling leaf tips, and slower plant growth could be sure telltale signs of potassium deficiency.
To prepare an ash tea for your plants, place five pounds of ash in a cloth bag or use an old pillowcase and tie it closed. Now, place this bag in a 50-gallon garbage bin filled with water and let it steep for 7-10 days. After that, you can pour this tea around your potassium-deficient plants.
6. Prevent Blossom End Rot in Tomatoes
If you spot that first black splotch on the bottom of your tomatoes, you may know it’s an indication of blossom end rot. Apply a handful of wood ash just before the plant starts to flower to avoid it.
7. Save Plants from Frost Damage
Dusting the foliage of your plants with wood ash will save them from frost damage. However, it is not a sure-shot solution to keep them safe from extremely lower temperatures, but it works.
8. Stop Snails and Slugs in their Slimy Tracks
If you have slugs or leeches in your yard, control them with wood ash. Make rings around your important plants and dust these pests with this. The salts in the ash will dehydrate them, and they eventually die.
9. Feed Aquatic Plants
Give your aquatic plants a potassium-rich dose of wood ash. This will not only make these plants will thrive but will also prevent algae from thriving.
10. Add Traction to Slippery Walkways
Wood ash can be applied to provide traction underfoot on slippery walkways, and it works the same way gravel does on slippery streets.
11. Remove Oil stains from Asphalt
If there are blotches of oil or grease stains in and around your garden area, sprinkle some wood ash on the stain and rub. Repeat the process if required.
12. Clean Glass and Metal
If you want to clean up any glass surface of the garden furniture, greenhouse, or gardening tools, soak a damp cloth in wood ash and scrub all the dirt, and grease away. Please make sure to wear gloves to avoid caustic burns.
13. Fire Control
Wood ash can form a great air-tight barrier to help extinguish fire flames. When a fire extinguisher or sand is unavailable, you can use wood ashes to put out a fire. Ensure no embers are left smoldering as they could reignite.
14. Control Odor
The odor-absorbing power of wood ash saves to fix any foul-smelling odor in your garden. You can just leave a bowl of wood ash or sprinkle a cup of ashes into any place such as birdcage, pond, or any area that needs a refreshing smell.
15. Clean your Gardening Clothes
The stains that you can get on your gardening clothes are tough to get rid of. You can rub the stain with a bit of wood ash mixed with a detergent. Keep it on for 4-5 minutes and rinse off normally.
16. Clean Birdbath
Mix 1-2 handfuls of wood ash into the water and scrub the surface of the birdbath. It will remove algae and leave it darn clean!
17. Save Seeds for Next Year
If seeds are not properly stored, they can lose their viability due to moisture and will not germinate. You can sprinkle wood ash into the storing containers to cut down moisture problems and protect your seeds.
18. Clean Barbeque
Wood ash can clean up the dirty, greasy grills that have all sorts of animal fats, oils, and charcoal from last night’s garden party. You can mix up a thick paste using wood ash and water. Apply generously to the inside of the grill and the grates. The solution will mix with the leftover fats from grilling and work as a kind of natural soap.
Allow it to sit for a few minutes before giving it a good scrubbing, and rinse it off with water. Make sure to wear hand gloves as the natural soap could be pretty drying.
19. Repel Mice and Other Pests
Wood ash keeps mice, cockroaches, rats, and other common pests away. You can use this all-natural pest control to keep them out of your garden without using any dangerous and toxic chemicals. Simply sprinkle it around plant beds, garage, pool area, fountain, gazebo, and where you spot them.
20. Protect Wooden Fence
If you have to build a wooden fence, make sure to add some wood ash to the post holes. This helps in protecting it from insects that might eat the wood away.
21. Kill Aphids and Mealybugs
One of the best organic ways to kill both these pests is to use wood ash. Add a handful of wood ash to 2 cups of water and spray the solution directly on them. You can also dust it in powder form on affected plants. Make sure to use the light amount! The application of wood ash will desiccate them, and your plants will be pest-free!
22. Great Natural Fertilizer
Dusting wood ash on and around the plant will also work as a fertilizer since it contains many important plant elements. But avoid overdoing it, and scatter lightly.
Don’t apply too often and too much of it, or else the salts and lye in it has the potential to burn your plants.
It is also great to clean your wood stove glass. take 2 big pieces of paper towel, wet them thoroughly . use one to collect ashes and rub on the glass, the other to wipe it down and then a dry one, to finish up
use gloves and make sure the ashes have cooled
I have done this all my life, ash is also great to use on the hearth , to polish.