Our soil is 7.5 pH, the last thing I need is anything raising the alkalinity. Other than using the ashes from the wood stove as driveway de-icer, which would run-off into planting areas what's the best practice to get deal with them? Can they be neutralized with vinegar? Dumped in my zone 5 area, pretend a forest fire blasted through? Dump in the bottom of my new swale? Dig a pit, fill with water and stick a dead body in it?
Add them to urine or chicken manure. Ashes are high in potassium, moderate in phosphorus; urine is high in nitrogen and moderate in phosphorus. Together, ashes and manure make a perfectly balanced fertilizer. If you add 1 part ashes and 1 part urine or chicken manure to 10 parts water, you will have a fertilizer that you can apply without worrying about it being too hot and burning your plants. If you want it to be longer acting, you can add 1 part of biochar to the mix and let it sit so that a lot of the nutrients are sorbed onto the char.
I saw a video on YouTube one time where a guy mixed them with Concrete. Then I remember an old western movie where they used them in Soap. But me I sprinkle mine under the Big old pine trees, It does seem to help the plants to grow under my pine tree areas.
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