Wood Ash

lunchlady8November 2, 2008

Would wood ash be good for rose beds?We have bought a fire pit,I would hate to waste the ash if it's good to use.


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it's potash or good for the K in the N-P-K however i would use sparingly as they are extremely alkaline.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 9:25PM
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Wood ash is a source of potassium but it would also raise the pH (supposedly about 2/3 as much as limestone)so if you have alkaline soil, I wouldn't use it.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 9:31PM
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We used to use it in the garden all the time, but sparingly - basically sprinkle them over in a very fine layer.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 10:04PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Good for sandy acid soils that don't retain potassium, calcium, and Mg. Could be useful on Piedmont acid clays, but probably not in most of Texas.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 10:56AM
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Thanks for all the infro.I think I won't use it.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 5:25PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

If you have a compost pile, you can put it in that.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2008 at 9:14AM
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Thanks buford,I do have a compost pile.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2008 at 9:55PM
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here's what it says on the common ground palo alto organic soil amendments page:

"Ashes from wood are high in potash and help repel root maggots. Ashes also have an alkaline effect on the soil, so use them with care if your soil pH is above 6.5. Black wood ash is best. See p. 48 in How To Grow More Vegetables for more information on wood ashes.

Use up to 1.5 lb (13/4 qt) / 100 sq ft."

I would quote you from the book mentioned but I lent it to someone and I can't remember who. I do remember that it said that wood ashes in the vegetable garden bed improve the flavor of tomatoes, lettuce and many other vegetables, and that in most cases it is a good additive if you use animal manures because those are acidic.

Black wood ash is best because that is the result of a slow smoldering fire, while gray powdery wood ash is from a raging fire and loses most of the potassium. Wood ash is between 1% and 10% potassium, but it lasts for only 6 months in the soil.

I know that many excellent gardeners use wood ashes liberally, and not scientifically, but our soil is a little on the acid side here. I used to use ashes I used plenty and it never hurt my roses or vegetables. I don't have any ashes now, but in late summer I limed (also alkaline, even more so) my roses and they responded favorably and quickly. I limed the soil with about 1/2 cup of lime per HT bush, then top-dressed with horse manure and alfalfa.

They said thank-you. When I tested my soil last year it was about 6.5 (before any additives).

You could always test on something not too important, experiment a little and if it starts to suffer, add some cottonseed meal (acidic).

Hope this helps. -Gala

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 1:18PM
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Maryl zone 7a

If you are in the northern tier of Texas (Dallas/Ft Worth area) you probably have heavy clay soil with a neutral PH or slightly alkaline. Soils in that area usually have an over abundence of "K" (Potassium)as well as Phospherous, so adding more, regardless of the source, would be like giving a drowning man a drink of water. A soil test is really what's needed to find out for sure.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 10:35PM
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