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Fireplace ash in the garden

Luchi and I go through a couple of cords of hardwood every winter. That produces about 60LBS of ash per season. Instead of carting it off to the dump a great place to use it is in the garden. While most of the nitrogen gets burned off during the fire, the ashes are high in phosphorus (3%), potassium (4%) and calcium (20%) making it an ideal soil amendment. It’s great around deciduous trees, fruit trees, perennials and root vegetables (the exception being potatoes as it may promote potato scab). Tomato plants also thrive with this amendment. The general rule is an application rate of around 1 gallon per square yard or 20LBS per 1000 square feet. Also it is important to know that the ashes change the ph of the spoil. Plants that love a more acidic soil (most evergreens, azaleas, rhododendron) will not appreciate your offering. A soil test can prevent a lot of headaches later on.

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