Wood Ash and Lawn

Annie DeighnaughDecember 1, 2012

DH asked me to post a question here....we have a wood stove which we use frequently and end up with a fair amount of wood ash. He wanted to know if it would be ok and/or useful to spread it evenly but lightly on the lawn. Would this be ok? We already put some in our compost heap and in our outhouse to keep the pit smelling sweet.

TIA!

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tiemco

Wood ash can be used on your lawn, but with a few cautions. Turfgrass does best in soil that is slightly acidic (pH 6.3-6.8). Wood ash is alkaline, so if your soil is basic (pH above 7) then you don't want to raise the soil pH by using wood ash. Another issue is spreading wood ash. Due to it's fine consistency is can be very difficult to spread it evenly on the lawn. If you find a good way to spread wood ash evenly and your soil is acidic then wood ash would help with the pH and it contains potassium and other micronutrients. It's pH effect is not as dramatic as lime, roughly half as effective by weight, so overapplication is probably not an issue, but avoid having piles of it on the ground as that can lead to areas of high pH.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 10:02AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

You might use it in a compost pile along with leaves and other natural ingredients.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 1:48AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Great...thanks for the info! I'll let him know.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 12:48PM
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texas_weed(7A)

Wood ashes can be used if your soil PH is acidic. Otherwise best used and great in compost piles as it has a high amount of potassium nitrate. Back in the ole days wood ashes was used to make gun powder by extracting the potassium nitrate from it aka salt peter. Military also used salt peter in coffee to calm down young men libido; hence the name.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 7:03PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Interesting, Tx Weed....we are already adding it to the compost, but we can only use so much there.

Our soil is acidic and we pay big bucks to have it limed, so this wood ash thing would actually be a help.

Great info! Thx.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 12:34AM
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texas_weed(7A)

Our soil is acidic and we pay big bucks to have it limed, so this wood ash thing would actually be a help.

You tell me. Take wood ashes, water, and animal fat in a big pot and bring it to a boil and you just made Lye Soap.

Lye is alkaline so the answer is yes. Just be careful because it can burn the grass just like vinegar. You are talking wood ashes right and not manufactured charcoal right?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 7:26PM
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krnuttle

This is a good article about wood ash. It tested for several trees, but the composition is similar.

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/pdf1993/misra93a.pdf

Based on this article if you place 100 grams of ash on your yard you are adding about 40 grams of Calcium, the main component in lime. The amount of Potassium and other metals varies by tree.

Sorry I forgot we could now edit our post

This post was edited by knuttle on Fri, Dec 21, 12 at 20:54

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 3:08PM
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