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How Much Ashes Is To Much For The Garden?


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#1 Nato77 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2013 - 08:39 PM

Since its been a little warmer here lately I've been burning up the junk wood (dry rotted and rotten) in the stove in the shed. Well it went out today and figured it was a good time to give it a good cleaning. A few years ago I had gotten abunch of old lumber with nails in it and burnt the last of it up this fall.

So now that the stove is all clean (the nails) I was going to start saving the ashes to put on the garden. What I'm wondering is how much is to much ashes on the garden? I'm no agonomist by anymeans. Just wondering of any of you guys would have some insight to this. From what I've seen where you burn a brush pile only the weeds grow there for afew years and don't need just weeds in the garden, got enough of those already.



#2 chris m OFFLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2013 - 08:50 PM

My Dad always covered the garden with ash before he tilled it. I would say it was only 1-2"" deep all over.

 

As far as nothing growing but weeds after burning the brush pile goes. that is just caused by the heat of the fire sterilizing the soil.And as you know weeds will grow in any environment lol.


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#3 Nato77 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2013 - 09:04 PM

My Dad always covered the garden with ash before he tilled it. I would say it was only 1-2"" deep all over.

 

As far as nothing growing but weeds after burning the brush pile goes. that is just caused by the heat of the fire sterilizing the soil.And as you know weeds will grow in any environment lol.

I didn't think of the heat doing that.



#4 chris m OFFLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2013 - 09:09 PM

I didn't think of the heat doing that.

When I was a kid we used to bake our soil from outside to use when starting the plants from seed inside. doing that killed everything including the weeds.



#5 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2013 - 09:18 PM

Years ago, when growing tobacco in the seedbeds, piles of wood were stacked on the ground, then burned to kill ALL seeds/roots, including weeds.  That was before the treating of the soil with methyl bromide gas under plastic.

  It would take a huge amount of ash to be "too much".  You will be fine.


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#6 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2013 - 09:23 PM

My dad talks about riding along on the steam engine to steam the seedling beds. They had a cover to put down and then ran steam to kill the weed seeds. 



#7 Michiganmobileman OFFLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2013 - 10:39 PM

Ashes raise the PH level in the soil. Check with a local nursery or garden center about testing a sample of your soil. High Ph is not good. 6-7 best. Our garden is high so my ashes get dumped elsewhere.
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#8 Nato77 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2013 - 12:05 AM

I'll have to test the soil in the spring. Haven't ever done that do they make a kit or something to do it yourself?



#9 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2013 - 12:51 AM

You can buy kits or take a soil sample to a nursery or your Ag Extension Office. Here in CT I throw my ashes on the lawn when its covered with snow. It makes the snow melt alot faster and sweetens the soil. Because of the oak trees, our soil is acidic.  Areas that don't get ashes end up with moss growing there.

 

For sterilizing an area we lay out a sheet of black plastic for acouple of weeks. I'm only doing a small garden.


Edited by boyscout862, January 09, 2013 - 12:52 AM.

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#10 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2013 - 05:54 AM

Most soils around here either need or can stand the extra PH from ash, but not all.  Soil tests are a good idea.  I've heard...not sure if it's true...that some universities in the US provide the service for free.  You can also buy kits at better garden centres.  If you remember using litmus paper in high school chemistry, that's really all there is to them.

 

You can still use the ash in compost though.  Just mix it in with everything else.  When you use the mix, it will be neutral enough that it won't raise the acidity of the soil unless the soil needs it.


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#11 Alc OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2013 - 06:49 AM

I bought a cheap ph meter like this one sold at Walmart , it's quick and easy to use ,theres lots on info out there on what different plants like as far as ph , Al http://www.walmart.c...-Meter/21105656
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#12 robert_p43 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2013 - 10:35 AM

I have to agree, test the PH.

I rented an appartment once and the owner lived in the main section of the house.  He tilled up a good part of the yard for a garden as he had 6 or 7 kids to feed and he had just bought the house.  I asked him if I could have a little garden behind the shed and he said, "Sure."  When it came time to pull up carrots, his had holes from some kind of bug or worm.  Mine were fine about 30 feet away.  He asked what I had done differently and the only thing I could see was that I had thrown out some hardwood ashes in the garden and he hadn't. 



#13 HydroHarold OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2013 - 06:03 PM

Here's some quick read information from Purdue University (great chicken too!):

 

http://www.hort.purd...xt/woodash.html

 

Don't ever ever ever use COAL ASH on any garden or over your well aquifers.  The list of heavy metals and other poisons in high volumes in coal ash is amazing.


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#14 jim knutson OFFLINE  

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Posted January 21, 2013 - 11:20 PM

Don't ever ever ever use COAL ASH on any garden or over your well aquifers.  The list of heavy metals and other poisons in high volumes in coal ash is amazing.

same goes with pallet wood, or lumber that has been treated with insecticides, or pressure treated for rot resistance.


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#15 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted January 22, 2013 - 07:30 PM

Something if you do have heavy metals in your soil (if you live in an industrialized urban area you can get the soil tested for that too)...the metals collect in the leaves and roots, but not the fruit.  So cucumbers are likely okay, but lettuce and potatoes likely aren't.

 

There are also plants that decontaminate the soil for you.  They've been cleaning up one of the first Ford plants that way...may even be done by now.






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