[permaculture] fireplace ash

Keith Johnson keithdj at mindspring.com
Mon May 22 11:01:28 EDT 2006

To clarify, wood ash is not a "poison", but rather, caustic, ie very 
alkaline. This is why previous writers have suggested light dustings. 
Clients of mine killed many of their plants by indiscriminately dumping 
bucketsfull in the landscape (especially since they were dumping it on 
azaleas and rhododendrons which like acid soil). I, too, have found that 
using it  in SLIGHTLY larger amounts for onions, brassicas and other 
heavy feeders can be beneficial. A little, e.g 2 cups in a 4 x 4 x 4 
compost pile sprinkled in very thin layers as you build, can be 
beneficial. It helps repel slugs, too (like putting salt on them).

If your garden is too small to utilize the volume you produce, scatter 
it elsewhere (in a forest?), or consider some of the other uses suggested.

Thomas Gorman wrote:

>Would composting fireplace ash with kitchen scraps, humanure, and  
>other usual compost materials for a year or so eliminate the  
>'poisons' and be better than a direct application to a garden.
>Wondering for the future...

Keith Johnson
Permaculture Activist Magazine
PO Box 5516
Bloomington, IN 47408
(812) 335-0383
also Patterns for Abundance Design & Consulting

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