Many of us heat our homes with a wood unit, wood stove, and/ or a fireplace during the winter months. Ever wonder what to do with the wood ash, that you’ve cleaned out of your wood burning unit? There are many useful benefits. Wood ash is very environmentally friendly, and can be used to neutralize soil, block garden pests, used for a chicken dust bath, and spread on ice for traction.
Wood ash consists of Calcium Carbonate mostly, approximately 10% potash, and less than one percent phosphate with trace elements of iron, manganese, zinc, copper and some other heavy metals. It is naturally Alkalinic, and can be used as a liming agent for your garden.It is water soluble and will spread through your soil instantaneously, and it will have an immediate affect on the soils PH levels.
First, you want to test your soils pH level, before applying wood ash. You do not want your soil too alkaline. Some vegetables, like tomatoes,need the soil more acidic and if the soil is too alkalinic, it will affect their growth. Wood ash should be used sparingly. A well neutralized garden is a healthy garden, for all vegetables.
Spreading wood ash on your lawn will naturally repel slugs and snails. Do you have issues with moles and shrews? Well, you’ll also be getting rid of the moles and shrews too, because your eliminating their food source of the slugs and snails. Your grass will also be more lush and green, because your neutralizing the soil in your lawn.
Wood ash can also be used for a chickens dust bath. It’s a natural antiparasitic, and will suffocate mites, lice, fleas, and ticks. Chickens will probably peck and nibble on the wood ash, it’s non toxic and in fact has nutritional benefits for chickens. It contains calcium and trace elements that they need in their diet.
Lastly, wood ash can be used on ice. It’s an alternative from using salt, and it’s free to use if you have a wood burning unit at home. By spreading wood ash generously on slippery steps, walkways, and driveways, it causes a traction and can prevent injuries from slipping and falling on the ice.
Wood ash is a natural substitute for many things. It is environmentaly friendly and free to use if you burn wood. It’s a great savings.