• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Ashes from woodstove  RSS feed

 
            
Posts: 58
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Anyone have any suggestions for applying wood stove ashes over pasture in winter? I have heard that it is wasteful to put them in the compost bins, and I have scattered them around in the spring/summer with questionable results. Or really I have no idea what the results were. I probably need to know what the soil PH is to avoid problems in that area. What have you done with them?
 
            
Posts: 58
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have a thin layer of snow on the ground currently which could help keep them in place.
 
Ken Peavey
steward
Posts: 2524
Location: FL
89
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Newly produced ash will need to be aged first. One of the ingredients is lye (NaOH), which can do some damage to the soil even with low concentrations. The ash needs some combination of age and weather. Left in a pile out of the way, in a place you wont be growing anything for a while, rain will wash out the lye, interaction with soil will help to buffer the acidity, but not a whole lot. Of you want to speed up the process, dump the ash in a bucket of water, let it soak for a while. This would be what you would do if you were using the ash to make soap-thats talked about in another forum around here. The soaking will leach out some of the lye, rendering it more fit for use on soil, but you end up with a sloppy mess. Drain off the water, dump the ash in a heap to rest for a few months. I'm sure there are other things you can do in processing the ash, but I'm not particularly knowledgable in this area.
 
Chris Dean
Posts: 108
Location: South New Mexico Mountains
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have heard chickens love wood ash for dust baths. I'm getting my first flock this spring so I can't validate this yet.

I have also heard that it is useful to polish metals--although I haven't tried this either You apply it with a damp rag, then wipe off...although that wouldn't use up much.
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
88
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Unless the ph is quite low, I'd be wary about using wood ash on the soil as it's very alkaline.
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6786
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
263
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've used ash as a barrier to prevent slugs from migrating from forest to the garden. Used fresh they're more caustic and they burn a nice clean edge which keeps grass from creeping.
 
George Lee
Posts: 539
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
as long as you distribute them well ahead, the soil will work itself out -
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
we have heated with wood on our property for 40 years..and we always use our ash on our own property.

One thing that loves it is lawn...put a thin veil on over the snow in the winter, and you can remember where you put it..also works on fields..there are a lot of plants that love it..but with them remember also a thin veil..lilacs, prunus fruit trees and pears, asparagus, cole crops, and you can put some in your woods if they are alkaline..but not too many..we generally get about 4 40 gal barrels of ash and char from our wood furnace (we heat 3 buildings) over the winter..and we spread it out during the winter and spring and sometimes in the fall if weather permits..careful if it is HOT as it can start a fire..people don't realize if there is not snow on the ground it is likely fire danger
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3734
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
87
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I used some ashes last week when the driveway turned into an icy mess. I managed to stop my car from sliding backwards/sideways down the driveway. I needed to use ashes to even get to the spot to put ashes down for the car. Once the ashes were down I could drive it out (with my subaru). You can also use ashes to melt snow to get an earlier jump on your garden.
 
Alison Thomas
pollinator
Posts: 933
Location: France
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ryan H, it's a question that always gets me too. This year I have scattered a little around all our fruit trees as I'd heard that it especially improves peaches, apricots and plums. I was all up for scattering it about on our fields too but I read somewhere that it kills the spiders so we still sit with a pile of it. There are a few more uses outlined in the following thread http://www.permies.com/t/10980/organic-sustainable-practices/Urine-woodash
 
Ernie Wisner
gardener
Posts: 791
Location: Tonasket washington
31
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
if its ash from an RMH be careful. the caustic soda content is very high almost twice what you find in Franklin stove ash. has to do with how complete the burn is.
 
Alison Thomas
pollinator
Posts: 933
Location: France
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Gosh that's interesting! No we don't yet have a RMH though we intend to have one soon - my husband kindly gave me the book "rocket mass heaters" for Christmas (was that a hint??)
 
Ernie Wisner
gardener
Posts: 791
Location: Tonasket washington
31
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
broadly broadly.
A friend of ours was trying to make soap the old fashioned way so she thought to test Ash from an RMH and a regular wood stove. the soda content of the RMH was almost three times higher than the franklin stove.
from our own experiments out of 75 lbs of wood we got 7 oz of ash while my dad got 72 oz from the same amount of wood burned in his super wood stove. lots of difference in how well the stoves burn and how much fuel it takes. he burned 75lbs in a couple days and it took us over a month. Same size houses and his has more insulation in it than ours had.
 
I promise I will be the best, most loyal friend ever! All for this tiny ad:
Ernie and Erica Wisner's Rocket Mass Heater Everything Combo
https://permies.com/t/40993/digital-market/digital-market/Ernie-Erica-Wisner-Rocket-Mass
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!