Timing a wood ash application

josko021January 2, 2013

My soil test calls for 10 lbs/1000 sq ft of calcitic lime. I plan to use 20 lbs/1000ft of stockpiled wood ash, since I understand that wood ash is half as effective as lime.
What's the best time to apply the ash? I understand lime can go on in winter, but wood ash also contains appreciable potassium which does leach, so that would lead me not to apply it too early. I've also read that lime should not be applied too close to tilling time. Is there an optimum window to put down wood ash?

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Wood ash is very caustic so it needs to applied far enough in advance of planting that the plants roots will not be harmed. Just when depends on your soil and probably the amount of organic matter in the soil. I can find nothing that says just when but I would think that 4 to 6 weeks prior to planting should be adequate.

Here is a link that might be useful: About wood ash in the garden

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 9:33AM
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IME, a modest application of ash is just fine very near or even at planting time (I often put a good dusting in the furrow when planting peas or beans, with good effect). The oxides and salts in ash leach very quickly, so more than a month or so ahead in our sandy soils is probably mostly a waste.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 10:02AM
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