Adding wood ash to compost?

We have just had a wood burning stove installed and will obviously be getting lots of ash to dispose of.  Can I put this in the compost bin or on the leaf mould pile?  If not any other uses in the garden?  Thanks in advance. X


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,067

    I sling it on the compost heap. Sprinkled around a bit. Everything goes on there, including some weeds that never orta.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,111

    If you keep it dry, you can use it to top dress around fruit trees and bushes in Spring to help stimulate flowers.

    Or you can mix it with compost to do the same (stops it blowing around)

    Or you can put it on the compost heap , a sprinkle every few inches rather than a thick layer.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • Hi Tracey, are you sure you need to rake out the ash from your new burner?  I suggest you check the instruction manual to see if you do. 

    Many models need a layer of ash in the chamber to help control the rate of burn (no ash = too hot = damage) and you will be surprised how the ash packs down to almost nothing.

    Having said that, you might get a build-up that needs to be removed occasionally. By all means add small amounts to the compost heap but keep fresh ash away from raspberries, other  fruit and the potato plot. Have a look at the advice on the RHS website -

    Be cautious about the wood you burn as well. Throw away ash from treated timber, it might contain harmful residues. Find a source of properly seasoned hardwood to burn, or buy a load in to season and use uberlogs or "heat logs" for the first year. This will also be in the manual, so have a read.

    Finally, enjoy your new burner.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,067

    with woodburners it's best not to shake all the ash through into the ash pan, leave some or itthe logs burn away very fiercely.

    However some needs to go or there won't be room for the logs. We run ours daily through the winter and the ash pan is emptied about once a week. 

  • Ash pan? Mine doesn't have one, by design. The ash sits on the metal floor, to stop the logs burning too fiercely as you say Nut, there's a little guard to keep it in place. Tracey, if you have no ash pan, don't worry.

    I might hit the jokes thread with something truly awful ...

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,067

    go on Peter, tell us a jokeimage

  • We have a Jotul wood burner with an ash tray which needs emptying daily when it's going full blast in the winter. It puts out about 6kW when fully cranked! We put our ash in a metal bucket until it has gone cold, then it goes into the compost bin. I've found that as long as it's mixed around or added in small layers it's fine. If there's too much in one spot it goes claggy and greasy-looking.  I've used the finished compost on the garden for the last 3 yrs and so far, all is well.

  • Thank you everyone for your advise in using in compost and for the burner!  We do have a separate ash pan to empty, but will leave it for a while to see how it builds up as we had been emptying it daily even though there wasn't much there.  We have 3 compost bins on the go so should be able to distribute it pretty evenly through those.  We've sourced some seasoned hard wood and had to do a little tree surgery when we moved here last November so have a pile that we're going to let season for a couple of years.  Loving using it though, it's so cosy!  Thanks again all. X

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