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wood ash on the garden

 
                        
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Anyone know what will happen if too much is added?  Seems to me I read somewhere that you weren't supposed to add very much but never did say what would happen if .....I had some waiting to go into the garden and the lid blew off, it all got wet and so ended up coming out in soggy lumps.  If this is going to cause problems what can I add to try to compensate?
 
George Lee
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Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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If you're so worried about broadcasting it..Why don't you add a scoop or so in each hole when planting say...cucumbers? My squash and cucumbers love a little ash in each mound..
If it's clumpy, put it on a tarp, smash it up with the lid of a bucket and let it sit in a place with no wind (inside if need be).. Don't make it harder than it is.
It would be helpful if you let us know what you were trying to grow.

 
Lee Einer
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wood ash is what lye used to be made from.

It's pretty alkaline.

If you have acid soil it could bring it towards a neutral ph. If your soil is already alkaline, putting wood ashes on it will exacerbate the problem.
 
maikeru sumi-e
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Pam wrote:
Anyone know what will happen if too much is added?   Seems to me I read somewhere that you weren't supposed to add very much but never did say what would happen if .....I had some waiting to go into the garden and the lid blew off, it all got wet and so ended up coming out in soggy lumps.  If this is going to cause problems what can I add to try to compensate?


If you don't want to change soil pH too abruptly, I recommend adding it to material to be composted or adding it to soil and then mulching on top so the pH is buffered.
 
                        
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This is sort of "made" soil in a growbox.. 98% straw/sawdust/grass clippings/an inch or so  of compost or potting soil/ crushed eggshells  and a bit of miscellaneous other stuff as available. And until today a LITTLE wood ash.  Now it's scattered sort of like soggy little marbles over the top like sprinkles on a cupcake.

The growbox has grown energetic squash (masses of flowers but almost all male last year  but it was a very cold wet summer) and  tomatoes and peas have done well in it.  Had a wonderful bunch of baby dandelion tonight out of it. I have 4 of them going but every one is slightly different.depending on what was available. I have absolutely no idea about the ph.   I wanted to try growing corn  this year. Have I messed it up?  
 
maikeru sumi-e
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All soil is made, whether by Nature or with a little help from us. No, I don't think so. Why not cover up the soggy little balls with more straw, clippings, compost, or whatever you have on hand so that the ash is gradually incorporated and absorbed into the soil, where the microbes, soil life, and roots can get at the minerals. If you have a lot of soil life and microbes, they'll do the pH balancing for you to about neutral.
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Just like plants, different soil microbes have pH ranges that they do best in.  Too sweet, and you will limit the populations and effectiveness of certain microbes.  Same thing with too acidic.  Generally, the closer to neutral you can maintain your soil, the greater the microbial activity.
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