Using ashes on compost pile

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I am not a compost expert, I personally have not done a compost pile as an adult. My parents always had one when I was growing up tho. We had a big pile out close to the garden that we would pile stuff onto throughout the year. I do remember my parents having an ash bucket next to our compost pile.

The ash bucket was ashes from our wood stove. We would use the ashes on top of the compost pile to keep the smell down. I remember doing this even when my Mom and I didn't have a garden that summer.

Anybody ever hear of doing this or tried it? I do know it kept the smell down, but I don't remember if my Mom and I used the pile on the garden after using the ashes.
 

zigs

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Good source of Potassium, you could also use it round the base of fruit bushes and trees.
 

zigs

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Oh, except acid loving fruit like blueberries, as it raises the soil PH.
 
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Do you mean the ashes too or just the compost pile? I know my parents used the ashes to keep the smell down on the compost pile, but I didn't know if the ashes were good for the garden too or if they just used it for the odor.

I grew up having a wood stove but do not have one where I live now.
 

Jed

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You can use it straight or put it through your compost,
but as zigs mentioned make sure you put it around only those plants that don't mind a slightly alkaline soil.
 
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We heat with wood all winter, so we tend to have a ton of ashes that we put with our compost pile. It seems to help balance out the nutrients that are lacking in our soil or other compost items, to make a richer soil. I wouldn't recommend using only ashes, that might be overkill! It would probably be best to get your soil tested to see which nutrients you need more of.
 
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Wood ash helps balance the acidity in your soil. It is as Zigs mentioned a great source of potassium. But you need to put ashes away from the root of plants if you use it directly.. on a compost pile it helps keep the gnats and the smell away.
 

Pat

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Now that I know I can use the ashe from a wood stove I can take the ashes from thefireplace and use it in the garden. I have started a compost pile and can use the two together. My garden was very poor last year maybe this will help.
 
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Wood ash can be used to neutralize the acidity of the compost. You can sprinkle a little wood ash on your compost from time to time but don't overdo it. However, avoid ashes from paper, leaves and coal.
 
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If you are looking for a healthy compost, then don't throw ash in there. It would be a much better alternative to just leave wood (or whatever else you are burning) in the compost. That way, the stored carbon can be released naturally, instead of being burned into CO2. I'm not saying that throwing ash in there is bad... I'm just stating that keeping wood in the compost is HEALTHIER than just throwing ash in there.
 

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