is there am problem in adding ashes from the fireplace to either garden soil...

Asked January 19, 2017, 6:29 AM EST

is there am problem in adding ashes from the fireplace to either garden soil or compost bin?

Carroll County Maryland

1 Response

We do not recommend adding wood ashes to a compost bin. Also, It is not recommended to add the wood ashes to acid loving plants like azaleas. Wood ashes can be used to raise soil pH with twice as much ash applied as limestone for the same effect.

If you have a vegetable garden, you could spread a thin layer during the winter and incorporate into the soil in the spring. However, ashes should not come into contact with germinating seedlings or plant roots as they may cause root damage. You should check the pH yearly if you use wood ashes to modify pH. Limit the application of wood ashes to no more than 20 pounds per 1000 square feet, as toxicity problems may occur.
If you have large quantities of wood ash, we recommend spreading in the woods or taking the ashes to the landfill.
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