Amending Garden Beds With Hardwood Ash - January 2022

Posting a couple of photos in the [garden diary] to start the new year to mark where I've spread out some of our hardwood ash in the beds in the backyard.  The two photos below in this post show the thin layer that I've scattered on top of the snow in the south bed in the backyard from the Oakleaf Hydrangeas to the newly planted Hicks Yews.  I've done this in the past (bringing out the wood ash from our fireplaces) and scattered it around the yard.  In 2019, I applied a thin layer to the base of our Frans Fontaine Columnar Hormbeam trees. This year, I had a bucket-and-a-half and chose the south beds to amend the soil over there. 

Currently, it looks a little strange.  Grey patches on top of pure white snow.  But, once we get a melt/thaw then freeze cycle - or...another snowfall, I'm thinking this stuff will disappear from view.

The word on the Web is mixed in regards to adding ash to the garden, yard and compost bins.  It seems that in a limited way, there's no downside to using it to amend the beds and compost piles and even to condition the lawn.  Hardwood ash is a good source of soluble phosphorus and potassium - both of which are on the list of 'good' nutrients for plants.

But, if you go crazy and dump ash year after year in the same spot and the dose is high, it seems it can be a net negative.

I'm taking the approach of putting the ash back into the yard and garden, but I'll use these posts in the [garden diary] to make sure that I spread the stuff out to different spots in subsequent years to ensure I don't provide too heavy of a repeated dose in the beds.

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