There were times when all heating and cooking depended only on burning firewood: there were ashes. Wherever we could, we used the Ashes in the garden to make lye to wash clothes, to wash dishes, to pour into cesspools to avoid the smell, to scare mice, to get rid of parasites, to cure diseases.
They even lighten the hair. They used it in different ways in their gardens and vegetable gardens. And now, some people have to buy ash in the stores. Tell anyone who lives in the backwoods or countryside, they will laugh.
It’s not only for plant nutrition but also for various household needs.
WHAT IS ASH (ASHES IN THE GARDEN)?
We had the problem of using ash after we bought our house. The gas or natural gas had not yet been delivered to our place, and it would be about ten years in the coming year’s plan.
Therefore, the whole heating system is connected to the wood boiler. And in the first winter it has come up, it makes enough ash – it is not shish kebab fried once a week. I had to look deeper into the problem.
So, from the beginning: ash is the residue of any kind of fuel that can not be burned. In this case, we’re talking about the ash (from the garden) leftover from the burning of crop straw (mainly wood).
The ash from burning plastics, particle board, synthetic materials, and even wood, but varnished, painted, and impregnated, is not considered as unhelpful and harmful.
Burning coal, especially low-grade coal, produces unhelpful ash with high levels of sulfates (salts of sulfuric acid), which are only effective when mixed with compost.
By the way, due to the presence of sulfates, coal ash acidifies the soil, unlike all other soils, which are instead alkalized.
Sulfur lovers in the garden (onions, cabbage, garlic, legumes, radishes) will appreciate the compost fertilized with coal ash. And the use of clean coal ash can give hydrangeas a blue color.
The ash from burning peat strongly loses to wood ash in the content of basic elements: potassium, calcium, and phosphorus.
The ash produced after burning sunflower stalks and buckwheat is very useful, but it is now exotic. Farmers who know buckwheat and sunflower are lucky to have environmentally friendly high potassium fertilizer.
The most common garden ash is wood ash. It is also different: the ash of coniferous trees is worse, the ash of deciduous trees is better in terms of mineral content.
The highest content of useful substances in the ashes of hardwoods: hornbeam, oak, birch, beech. Among fruit trees: dogwood, cherry, cherry, apple, pear. The most fragrant kebabs are obtained by baking on the branches of apples, cherries, and plums, and even better on walnuts.
Burning dried caraway, cuttings of vines, branches of shrubs, and trees give ashes (ashes from the garden) that are even richer in trace elements than wood ashes.
Wood ash does not contain nitrogen, but contains almost all the other elements that plants need – it comes from plants. And the forms of these elements are quite easy for plants to assimilate. The analogs in mineral fertilizers, even if they are complex, do not have ash.
WHERE TO GET ASHES IN THE GARDEN? HOW TO USE IT?
It is there, where the wood burns, where ashes are plentiful. For many cottage owners, getting ash from firewood has become a problem (given the changes in legislation regarding burning things on the land).
All hope is on the barbecue, although now even with a barbecue, all is not so easy. That is, having a wood stove makes you the owner of a very valuable resource. But they are, more often than not, completely indifferent.
Therefore, it is absolutely useful to make friends with local residents who have a wood-burning stove nearby. Or actively use the barbecue grill, as well as regular steam in the bathhouse if you have one.
Well, for example, you ate a lot of kebabs, took a sauna in the bathhouse, and got half a bucket of already cooled ashes in the morning.
First of all, you have to make an ash solution in the ratio of one cup of ash to 10 liters of water. This is a universal balanced fertilizer, suitable for almost all plants, except for fans of acidic soil.
Filter it and spray it on the leaves of the plants. Not only can you apply it as a foliar spray, but it also prevents fungal diseases.
Pour the remaining grounds between the strawberry bushes in the garden to poison the presence of slugs and weevils. If there is still ash after spraying, it is best to prepare another ash solution and pour it around the canopy of fruit trees – all the same, which. They’ll all appreciate it. But stone fruit – especially.
It is not superfluous to look back at the weather forecast: if there is rain, you can just pour a cup of ash per square meter into the root zone of the plant.
If a sudden sweat in the room and kebabs extended a week and the ashes are left, you need to collect them and store them in a metal container, covered, somewhere under the shed or indoors: potassium will quickly wash away from the ashes with water and dust (if blown away suddenly by the wind) is very harmful to the respiratory tract.
USE OF SEASONAL ASH
In different seasons, ash can be used in a variety of ways: in the spring dry ash is good for people who dig in the ground – not in the ground – when digging.
About 2-3 cups per square meter. It is worth considering that the ash from the sandy soil (not only ash but everything useful) is quickly washed away by rain and water during watering.
In this case, it is better to fertilize the plant with a solution on the leaves, because the ash, introduced before sowing, will be washed away before the plant grows roots and can reach.
- When pruning trees in spring, it is better to sprinkle ash on the cuttings. And when painting tree trunks, it is good to add ash to the solution (one cup per 5 liters) in addition to copper sulfate – both are protective against fungal diseases.
- It is advisable to spread ash on garden strawberries during the regeneration of young leaves. This means both the strawberry itself and the surrounding soil. In addition to fertilizing, this operation can be unpleasant for weevils in the ground: they do not like to nibble on leaves covered with ash.
- A lawn that has been fertilized with ash in the spring will look more robust and grow better.
- When planting potatoes, sprinkling ashes on the tubers protect them from fungal diseases and helps establish a strong root system at the beginning.
- The entire cabbage family, from early turnips to late fall radishes and cabbages, will appreciate the occasional sprinkling of ash on the dew in the morning (so that the ash will stick). This operation greatly spoils the appetite for cruciferous fleas and slugs. It also interferes to some extent with the strong odor emitted by the plant, which attracts cabbage moths.
- When planting any seedlings, it is best to add ash to the hole and mix it with the soil, about half a pinch per plant.
- After the fruit has ripened, all plants can be sprayed regularly with ash dip. Pour 1/3 of a bucket of ash over it with hot water, soak it for two days, strain it off and mix it with a spoonful of liquid soap. In this way, in addition to fertilizing, you can prevent leaf-eating pests: sawflies, moths, aphids, leafhoppers, and moths. On currants and gooseberries, it prevents powdery mildew.
- Composting, pouring useful micro and macro elements on the organic ash layer, pathogens are killed.
- In the fall ashes are also needed because potassium helps plants with winter hardiness – perennials, shrubs, and fruit trees do not break down and make in the root zone. Again, burning corn and buckwheat straw produces the highest levels of potassium in the ash.
- When dividing plants in autumn (and also in spring), cut rootstocks can be powdered with ash to prevent them from rotting.
Everything is fine in moderation. And this is directly related to the use of ash. An excess of ash-rich potassium can interfere with the assimilation of some elements such as nitrogen. Therefore, do not use too much, especially during the active growth period – the development of the plant will lag.
Sunflower and buckwheat straw has the highest potassium ash content, followed by wood ash. It also contains a large amount of calcium, an excess of which is detrimental to the absorption of iron compounds and leads to leaf wilting.
Acidic soils (especially) and weakly acidic soils will benefit from using ash. On alkaline soils, it is best used in compost, as the presence of calcium compounds will further alkalize the soil.
Feeding acidophilic plants with ash, i.e. fans of acidic soils (rhododendrons, hydrangeas, garden blueberries, ferns, yuccas, conifers, sundews), should be used with great caution and only if the soil is indeed acidic and if it has not developed acidity in a given area.
Ash should not be mixed with other mineral fertilizers: ash and nitrogen neutralize each other’s beneficial properties, and ash mixed with phosphate can kill plants at all.
Most of the concerns about overdosing refer to the depletion of microorganisms in the soil. Therefore, in organic farming, ash is more beneficial than in conventional farming: the abundance of fungi, bacteria, and protozoa in the soil can rapidly convert many elements into plant-absorbable forms.
The rhizosphere (the root environment where microorganisms are absorbed) will not allow the roots to be burned by salt but will provide everything it needs. Another reason why ash should not be applied to sterile seedling soil – there is no one there to protect the young roots, and the salt will only make life more difficult for the seedlings.
BENEFITS OF USING ASH IN GARDENS AND VEGETABLE GARDENS
- This one will be interesting for those who have too much ash. A paste of ash, slightly diluted with water, can clean dishes as well as silver, glass, and metal utensils with excellent results.
- Ash can be used to absorb odors in the refrigerator – you just have to remember to change it regularly. To neutralize odors from summerhouse toilets, ashes can also be used – just pour them into the sump.
- In dacha conditions, if you need to bleach something, you can add ash and boil the thing. Ashes are added to the bag. The result is surprising.
- In the composition of cat food, there is the component of ash, which is very useful for animals. Therefore, if the pet eats from the table, it will be useful to add a small amount of ash to its part.
- The multi-purpose lye is simple to make. Pour 4inch (10cm) of wood ash into a 10-liter bucket and pour boiling water over it. Let it sit for three days. If you can’t wait, boil for an hour or so until the mixture is clear and smells soapy. Allow to cool and strain. Let it stand for another 24 hours and then drain off the sediment. This will be the lye solution. To use, dilute no less than 1:10. lye is good for washing hair – no shampoo has so many trace elements. Good for washing: Pour a cup of undiluted lye into the washing machine when it is on the water. It is good for washing dishes.
- Especially for women in the country: a liter of warm water dissolves a teaspoon of sea salt, three tablespoons of wood ash, holds hands in the solution for fifteen minutes – the skin of t