Friday, February 13, 2015

Garden Uses for Wood Ash

Wood chips and decaying wood are a fantastic asset for your garden.  However not everyone has access to a chipper/shredder for the wood they have on their property.  Or maybe you don't have the room for the wood you have, but you can still put this to use.  Wood ash is a very effective tool for your garden and in many other ways.   So the next time you don't have an immediate use for your wood try burning it and using the ashes.  Your still getting important minerals and other soil nutrition that you can put to work in your garden. 

Uses for Wood Ash:
Balance the acidity in the soil for plants like tomatoes and other alkaline-loving plants such as garlic, onion and asparagus by adding some ash in the planting hole or around the developed plant. Be careful however when using around trees, shrubs and plants like pine or azaleas that do love acidic soil. Do not mix wood ash into raw compost because this will create ammonia, which in turn will destroy nitrogen making your compost less effective as a fertilizer.
Mix some wood ash together with some fine soil or sand for use on chickens to repel mites and other pest that aggravate the birds. Chickens love a dust bath and they will get dusty to repel the pest so make the dust bath more effective by mixing in some ash. Place on the ground or make a special container for them to get into for their dust bath.
Sprinkle the ash around the garden patch to stop slugs and other soft-bodied pest from getting at your plants. The ash will actually destroy slugs and snails by soaking up the mucus that acts as a protective coating on the insect’s body.

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