Spreading Wood Ash On Garden Beds - January 2024
Last week, I read this post from Lee Reich where Lee compares spreading their hardwood ashes to conjuring the dark arts and had a little laugh. I also...quickly learned a bunch - including how wood ash is a good source of Potassium (the "P" in N-P-K) and how a garden amendment that I've heard about/read about - Potash - is (obviously) the root word from Potassium, but is made up (mostly) of Ash. Hence the name.
Lee talks about how the spreading of wood ash isn't a precise project; rather just a thin 'tossing' of the ash on the beds does the job.
Because we burn a lot of fires during the Winter, we end up with a surplus of ash that I collect at a couple of intervals when I clean out the fireplace and ash bucket. Over the years, I've posted about how I've spread this ash - around trees in 2019 and on top of some snow in the perennial beds in 2022.
I ended up with a bit more than five gallons of ash from Cherry, Birch, Oak, Hickory and....well...Ash firewood that I scattered (by the shovel-full) on the south beds in our backyard. I tossed it around the Alice Oakleaf Hydrangeas. I tossed it on top of the Fanal Astilbes. I tossed/scattered it around the Summer Beauty Allium.
You can see the amount in the photo above. I'd call this a thin, scattered layer. Note the Northern Red Oak leaves that I've left in-place. These fell after my last clean-up and since they're Oak leaves, they'll take quite a bit of time to break down from their current, 'whole-leaf' state.
The next time I clear out ash, I'll spread it on the northside of the backyard beds.