Wood ashes as fertilizer for cultivation under cover is a very valuable gardening material. It is easy to obtain, it can be used in spring, autumn, added to compost or spread on site. We will talk about how to use it, what to get it from and which plants not to grow with this element in this Krosagro blog.
Wood ashes as fertilizer for cultivation in a polytunnel
As October gets under way, days are getting shorter and nights colder. Ashes are slowly building up next to fireplaces. To be able to use them, they must come from unprotected wood, free of stain. Resulting from biomass, they contains a number of elements required by plants: potassium, phosphorus, calcium and micro elements. Levels of individual components can differ, it all depends on what type of wood was burned. For example, spruce contains a lot of potassium and oak provides a lot of calcium. Integrating ashes will contribute to improve psycho-physical properties of any soil, as well as contribute to optimal yield. It is a great alternative to chemical mineral fertilizers.
What to use wood ashes for?
The ashes’ composition means that they can be used for various species and plant varieties. Often they perform well as a fertilizer for domestic orchard, they are also used in vegetable gardens in a polytunnel, for flower care, in small amounts for seedling, and are especially popular to control moss on lawns. Gardeners using this powder on edible plants (cucumbers, tomatoes, cauliflower, etc.) reduce the risk of putrefactive diseases. However, it is not recommended to be used for crops growing in acidic conditions, like most berry plants, flowers such as rhododendrons, azaleas, etc. Although in the case of conifers, using ash dust leads to better results. This is suitable as conifers reduce the pH.
Advantages of wood ashes
Ashes quickly releases their components, which is why it should be systematically supplied. The rain washes away the excess, so it’s worth storing a bit more. However, you should check the soil pH from time to time to adapt it to the crops. Good results are obtained by mixing it with the substrate, preferably to a depth of 10 to 15 cm. Regular use means that no liming will be necessary. Lime deficiencies inhibit crop growth, while rot or bitter parts appear in fruit (pears, apples, quince). This anomaly can be spotted with the deformation and drying of leaves.
Other uses of wood ashes
This natural fertilizer has several other advantages that are worth mentioning. By mixing ashes with ground bark, natural frost protection is obtained. Just cover spaces around the plants to keep them warm for longer periods. If the garden is under attack by hordes of snails, sprinkling ashes can prevent them from reaching the crop. This deprives them of water and effectively stop their intrusion. However, it should be taken into account that ashes lose their properties overnight. In order for the process to be effective, treatments must be repeated frequently.