12 Surprising Uses for Wood Ash in the Home & Garden

Garden 11

Fires that occur naturally are a catalyst for a change. These fires clear dead vegetation and make a way for new growth.

These fires improve the habitat of wildlife by altering the landscape, and this has an effect for increasing the quality of food and abundance. Naturally-occurring fires produce ashes that contain essential elements that will help in the regeneration of the forest.

Neutralize Acidic Soil

You should maintain a soil pH of between 6 to 7.5 in your garden beds. This is an ideal range since nutrients in fertilizers will be dissolved in water and the plant’s roots will better absorb them.

Acidic soil means that plants will not receive enough nitrogen, potassium, or phosphorus. Alkaline soil, means that plants will not receive enough doses of iron, phosphorus and manganese. Test your soil in order to be accurate whether your soil is alkaline or acidic.

Wood ash has up to 70% calcium carbonate and you can use it as a substitute for lime. Wood ash can be magical since it has small particle size. So, never exceed 25 pounds of wood ash per 1,000 square feet of soil and always re-test the soil after you apply wood ash.

Deter Slugs & Snails

Sprinkle wood ash evenly around the plants you have seen snugs and snails on, along the perimeter of the entire plot too. When you apply wood ash, avoid direct contact with the plants and make sure you apply again after a heavy rain.

Add it to Your Compost Pile

Add wood ash to your compost and you will boost the heap’s potassium levels. Add wood ash in the compost moderately, at a rate of every 6 inches of the compost pile – since wood ash is alkaline. Too much of it can raise the pH and damage your plants.

Use it on Calcium-Loving Plants

Sprinkle some wood ash sparingly and work it into the soil around plants that love calcium including: apple trees, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, etc.

Make Ash Tea

In order to make ash tea, put 5 pounds of ash in a cloth bag and close it, and tie it. Place the bag in a 50 gallon garbage bin that you have previously filled with water and allow it to steep for a couple of days. After the ash teaa has brewed, pour about a cup on your plants every week.

Fertilize Your Lawn

After you have applied ashes into your yard, water well and prevent beneficial nutrients from blowing away. A light dusting of wood ash is very beneficial to your lawn.

Make a Dust Bath for Backyard Chickens

If you like raising backyard chickens, include this ritual in your planning process. Wood ash, mixed with sand will make a great dust bath substratum and your chickens will adore it.

Make Soap

When potassium hydroxide is mixed with animal fats or veggie oils, it makes a soft soap. To make the soap, add a little salt to this mix and pour the molds to make firmer bars.

Melt Ice & Snow

One of the safest and most natural alternative to melt snow and ice is by using wood ashes. Wood ash contains a type of salt (potassium carbonate) that is eco-friendly it can help in the breakage of ice and melting of snow, if you scatter on driveways and walkways. It won’t harm or damage your plants too!

Polish Silver, Metal, and Glass

Wood ash can be used to polish tarnished silverware, dull metals, and cloudy glass. Get 1 cup of ashes and add a titch of water to make a thick paste. Spread this paste all over the lusterless items (make sure you use rubber gloves).

Absorb Odors

Wood ash can absorb and neutralize bad smells. Place some wood ash in a small bowl and leave it in the fridge or in a stinky room. However, make sure to replace it with new ashes after some days.

Remove Oil Stains in the Garage and Driveway

You can use wood ash to clean grease spills and remove stains from surfaces like cement, stone, and asphalt. Just sprinkle some ashes on the stain and allow it to stay for a few minutes. Sweep it with a broom afterwards.

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