Work­ing with wood ash

Amateur Gardening - - Your Gardening Week -

1 You can sprin­kle your wood ash di­rectly onto the soil around crops that might ap­pre­ci­ate its potash con­tent. Pass it through a coarse rid­dle to re­move large lumps, then add at a rate of 50g per square me­tre, gen­tly fork­ing it into the up­per 8in (20cm) or so of soil. 2 The potas­sium in wood ash is very wa­ter sol­u­ble, so ideally you should use it within a few days of be­ing cre­ated (es­pe­cially if heavy rain­fall is due, as this could leach out the ash’s nu­tri­ents). Plant roots will then read­ily take it up be­fore en­ter­ing their win­ter dor­mancy. 3 Wood ash is gen­er­ally quite al­ka­line (the op­po­site of acidic) so it’s best used around crops that are happy in soil with a neu­tral or slightly al­ka­line pH value (pH 7 or above). Avoid us­ing it on acidlov­ing crops such as rasp­ber­ries and blue­ber­ries.

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