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Sinking a Fire Pit

danny_ryan95danny_ryan95 Posts: 43
edited January 2022 in Garden design
Hi guys,

I'm in the process of renovating my garden myself mainly. A porcelain patio is being fitted (only bit not by me) and will have a border of stones, 30cm wide.

I was thinking it might be nice to extend the stones up and around a fire pit, sunken into the ground. An example is below. I wanted to get any opinions on potential issues. I would possibly either wrap the legs with a mesh or use bricks (to keep stones from falling underneath, then will the border with the same stones keeping to the same 30cm, so you won't see the legs. A lot say they have a hole in the basin for ash. Would this be bad for the soil? Can I leave it breakdown naturally or do I need a way to remove it? The ash would be sat about 30-40cm below turf level.


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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,196
    edited January 2022
    Sorry, I can’t see a photo and I know sweet f.a. about fire pits, but would the heat not kill the turf?
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Sorry just added it. 

    At the nearest the turf will be 30cm away from the border of the structure, not the height source so I'd have thought only some warmth which may damage in the height of summer unless well watered.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,501
    I think you would need a way to take out the ash regularly as otherwise it will just build up into a heap - it doesn't dissolve easily into the soil. 
  • Lizzie27 said:
    I think you would need a way to take out the ash regularly as otherwise it will just build up into a heap - it doesn't dissolve easily into the soil. 
    Ok, I can do that I just need to put something in place to permanently retain the stones so they don't fall into the gap as it'll just lift out. Either bricks or probably easier to put some sturdy metal fencing in and wrap that in mesh.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,196
    While wood ash (potash) is beneficial to the garden if added to a compost heap, it is very very alkaline on its own. It is the equivalent of putting washing soda directly onto the soil so yes, remove it before it has a chance to leach into the ground.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Wirral (free draining sandy soil)Posts: 1,741
    I would have thought that the fire pit would need to be raised above ground on its legs to allow air convection, safe burning and easy maintenance.  I would only choose one of these if it was smokeless and didn't cause smoke pollution for your neighbours to suffer - I actually moved house because of a neighbour who was continually lighting bonfires, day and night and in all seasons and weathers!😒
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,196
    We had one of those once. Just a little puther that went on for hours. No flames, just the smell. 😡
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Wirral (free draining sandy soil)Posts: 1,741
    That's a great word @pansyface, I hadn't heard it before and had to look it up!

    (I cannot print the words I used to use to describe this menace!🤷‍♂️)
  • I would have thought that the fire pit would need to be raised above ground on its legs to allow air convection, safe burning and easy maintenance.  I would only choose one of these if it was smokeless and didn't cause smoke pollution for your neighbours to suffer - I actually moved house because of a neighbour who was continually lighting bonfires, day and night and in all seasons and weathers!😒
    As far as I'm aware you can reduce the impact of smoke by carefully choosing the fuel type. Our neighbours both have a fire pit too.

    The example fire pit I used only has 2 holes in the pit, for ash to fall through so I think it gets all it's oxygen supply from above. 
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Wirral (free draining sandy soil)Posts: 1,741
    I'm sure with the right fuel your arrangement will be fine @danny_ryan95 and your neighbours won't object! (My judgement is clouded by memories of a poorly controlled bonfire so please forgive my negativity!)  With regards to the ash below, it may be wise to remove it on a regular basis, say once a week, so that it doesn't build up too much and blow onto your patio or lawn.  If the lawn does start to show any reaction, consider widening your stone margin to protect it.  Good luck and enjoy your warmer nights!
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