Spreading Wood Ash On Garden Beds - January 2024

Spreading hardwood ash on perennial beds in Winter - Zone 6b.

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.  

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