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ash from wood burner

We will be getting more and more ash from our wood burner...any suggestions for its use? Top dressing roses? Mixing it in with green waste in compost?



  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    I use my wood ash as a top dressing on fruit trees and fruit bushes. The only mention I found of it was an ancient gardening book, It says only top dress with it during month November to February. 

    I have done this then in spring lightly forked the residue into soil and top dressed as usual

    I worked along the rows (2 pans a tree/bush) rather than spreading it about

    I also put it into my compost bins thoroughly mixed

    Not to sure about roses, I haven't done that

    Do check that there are no chemicals on the wood (sometimes kindling has a bit)

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,896

    You can keep it in a lidded container by your compost heap, and sprinkle some on to the layers from time to time. This will add potash.   Remember that it will raise the alkalinity of the compost so don't use it on acid-loving plants.

    I would only do this if  the wood you burn is untreated.  I wouldn't use the ash from building timber or wood that has been painted. 


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • I know there is all sorts you can do with it, I am sure others better informed than me will soon let you know, however, I was advised recently to make sure the wood hadn't been treated with anything. I was also given this advice for my apple trees;

    The addition of Potash aids the quality of the fruit.

    Wood ash contains Potash. Old burnt wood contains more Potash than young burnt wood. Wood ash is suitable for just about all of the garden, especially when used as a winter mulch.

    My 1946 gardening book states that good quality wood ash can be used at any time of the year at a rate of 6/7oz per square yard. If you are using young wood to burn, triple this amount.

    Hope that helps a bit. 

    • “Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else?” —Betsy Cañas Garmon
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    as long as the wood you are burning is not treated (bits of off cuts are commonly burned by people) it'll be fine, if it is treated id be more tempted to bin the ash as you don't know what residual chemicals from the wood treatment is in the ash

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    Wood ash is fine to use in the compost bin; don't use coal ash, it's too toxic.image

  • Thank you for your comments. 

  • Surprised by all the comments re treated wood.  This is not meant to be burnt at all, ever.

    i put wood ash sparingly in the compost heap.  Sometimes wonder about the reaction of the worms as it is v strong burning.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,865

    I read / heard once that,ash from  young twiggy wood is higher then logs. D Damsel you say the reverse. So maybe I've got it the wrong way round. Either way, I use my ash from our woodburner, as others do, added to compost bin.

  • It was advice I was given on the forum Hostafan, am afraid I don't know, but sure it all helps one way or another. image

    Btw, I am thinking of getting some Hosta Fire & Ice, any tips? image


    • “Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else?” —Betsy Cañas Garmon
  • Think I heard the same, Hostafan.

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