benefits of ash?

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by STilladelph, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. Has anyone used ash, from a smoldered bonfire etc, in their soil? From what I heard it contains a lot of great nutrients for plants...just curious
  2. While easily available and cheap, there are some issues around wood ash that make me not use it. And of course since I have made that decision, I've forgotten what those reasons are.

    I do remember that if you are going to use ash, it should be hardwood ash only and no ash from magazines with color ink and the such.

    If you live way out in the country somewhere and burn brush, trees and such, then it might be useful to collect and use. Try a wikipedia look at wood ash to find out what is in it.
  3. #3 LumperDawgz2, Nov 21, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2011

    A term for Potassium (K) is Potash: Pot = Potassium Ash = well, uh, ash - Potash.

    All plant material accumulates some level of this element. Some plants will have higher levels than others. It also accumulates in tree cellulose - lignin. When you burn the wood this element is released and therein lies part of the problem.

    Potassium is an alkali metal that oxidizes rapidly in air and reacts violently with water. When exposed to water it converts to Potassium Hydroxide. This is the compound used to turn kelp meal into seaweed extract.

    The ash that you're wanting to use will have been released from the fire, exposed to the Oxygen in the atmosphere where it converts to Potassium Peroxide.

    You will see references to using wood ash on gardening sites. It's use goes back 4 hundred years. Whether or not that's the best source of Potassium is open for discussion and debate.

    It wouldn't be my first choice and it would be at the bottom of any list of Potassium sources that I could come up with.

  4. It wouldn't be my first choice and it would be at the bottom of any list of Potassium sources that I could come up with.

    Basically its way better to use other sources. I've seen and read too many negatives vs. using other organic goodies, such as granite rock dust, greensand, kelp meal, animal manure (composted), as well as fish meals.


  5. Heck try something a little different but still burnt.. Some bone char..Here is a little incerpt about Bone char

    Bone Char is calcined (burned) bone meal used primarily for water purification and refining sugar. Bone Char 0-16-0 contains more than 16% available phosphate (P2O5) and 32% total phosphate plus 33-34 percent calcium. It is OMRI listed and can be applied without restriction on certified organic farmland. Bone Char 0-16-0 is currently less expensive than phosphate rock and significantly less is needed per acre to supply the same amount of available phosphate. The consistency of Bone Char 0-16-0 is fine, like table salt and its density is ~80 pounds per cubic foot.
  6. I have 2 woodstoves so... Some info would be great! Can I condition my garden soil outside with ash?
  7. Thanks Downgirl, that was a nice snippet on bonechar. Props!
  8. Jerry

    Comfrey contains almost 300% more SOLUBLE levels of Potassium (K++) than thermal compost or animal manures.

    Like every other element required by plants to grow and thrive, Potassium is not some elusive element that has to be drilled into the garden. It's there in plant material and will be available in short time.

    Same with Calcium - it's everywhere and not in shortage.

    Beyond the issue with the alkali nature of wood ash (remember that Potassium in a base metallic alkali) so of course you're going to have extremely high pH numbers, you have Terpenes that are found in plants and in all woods and some can wreck havoc on your plants - cedar, pine, etc. - i.e. generally woods which have a high aroma to them are ones to avoid.

    I just don't see the benefit on any level using wood ashes. Not when kelp meal is $1.00 per lb. and far less the closer you are to Nova Scotia where it's processed.


  9. LD, at my new organic gardening store (that I was lucky to find here in Maine), I recently bought a big bag of Bone Char Phosphate.

    See this place - Fedco Seeds/Organic Growers Supply. These people are super - I stopped in at thier warehouse (only open for a few hours on Wednesdays, supplies are mostly shipped, it seems. They are affiliated with The Common Ground Country Fair - an organic country fair. Very cool. I think that its put on by MOFGA, which is Maine Organic Farmers. Anyhoo...

    Tell me how I should be using this. I did mix a cup or two in my last batch of mix, which was hit with a strong AACT and is now sitting in the dark corner of the cellar. The batch of soil was the size of a very large garden cart full.


    ps - excerpt from the catalog i purchased from. I bought the 50# pound bag.

    Phosphate, Bone Char ​
    (0-16-0, 32% P2O5: 16% available) Burned bone
    meal provides large amounts of readily available phosphorus. May be
    applied without restrictions to organically certified fields. We offer bone
    char instead of bone meal as it is a better value and more available to us.

    8531: 5#/$6.00
    8532: 50#/$20.00
    8533: 10+ (50#)/$19.00 each​
    8534: pallet (2000#)/$750.00

  10. #11 WeeDroid, Nov 23, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2011

    Uhh, have you bothered to read the posts that LD was generous enough to share with us?

    Really, sometimes I despair. Here at GC we have one of the most qualified organic farmer/gardeners to ever post on a cannabis grow site, and folks don't bother to read his posts?!?

    For shame.
  11. The ash is not what you want to use. You want to make charwood. You can make your own charwood by partially burning white oak or other similar hardwoods. Never use pine,gum,cedar,etc. I learned about how to use it growing organic tomatoes from a local hybrid farmer. What you want to do is after burning the hardwood(preferably large limbs 4inches or more diameter) down to where it's charred all the way through is to break it up into dime-sized chunks. Then you pile it up and let it leach a few seasons.

    Disclaimer: I do not or am not recommending charwood to be used indoors in containers as I have no clue what ratios would be beneficial. To put in perspective how little I use in my tomato holes- in a hole that is 3ft diameter and 2ft deep, I layer the bottom with about 4 cups of charwood. Then I proceed to layer my amendments and native soil acordingly. Putting it in the bottom of the hole serves at least 2 purposes.#1-termites can't stand it.#2 By the time the plants set fruit they are pulling a healthy amount of P which, of course promotes more flowering sites and larger fruits. The rest may be anecdotal, but since I started using charwood for my tomatoes 13 or 14 years ago I've not had a single attack of blossom end rot. Here's about what you want it to look like.

    P.S. Do not use powdered ash!! It sucks and you can over-do it very easily.

    Attached Files:

  12. Been wondering about this. I'm just here to learn.
  13. Guys LD is right Kelp is so much more economic not to mention helps with the microherd. It also has many application than just that of a soil amendment. It can be used as a top dress, in AACT, and as an FPE. I use all 3 to be honest! :D If you are a beginner in organics try to make it simple as possible. Trust me it will save you time , money and a lot of grief. However if you are like me and one hard ass determined SOB then by all means go for trying the bone char or something different. Since I was a teenager my goal in life was never to take the easy way and to always learn as many new things I could about EVERYTHING under the sun wether it be gardening, sports, book or whatever. So if you want to not be a simpleton(which nothing is wrong with that in this business believe me) then go for it! Click on the link that LD posted for me to look at. Oh and by the way LD I already have that page bookmarked but thanks so much:p Muah!

    Here is another site that offers Bone char as well as some quality amednments

    North Country Organics | Natural Fertilizers | Bone Char
  14. #15 Downgirl2182, Nov 24, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2011
    Very nice input Poppy! Interesting at that.. I had horrid blossom end rot with my Beef steak this summer. Sure wish i would have known about this. What wood do you prefer most? Another question isnt that basically Biochar? I thought wood and other ignitable material was used in the making of biochar. However it is made by burning all the material in a trench then covering it with dirt.
  15. #17 poppybgood, Nov 24, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2011

    It sounds like the same thing DG. I only use white oak or pecan myself, and since I have a large smoker for fish I don't have to make a special effort to make it. Basically, when you get a coal bed going and you put new wood on top, then cut back the airflow that is what you end up with. I would love to know the nutrient profile and how it differs from ash. Mine would probably differ from the biochar, since it's full of fish oil that drips onto the wood through the racks of my smoker LOL!!

    Edit: I watched the video, and yes it's the same thing. Charwood is just the southern term I guess.
    When I quoted approx 4 cups per planting hole I probably was a little modest, and I also don't really measure. I just make sure to layer the bottom of the hole with an inch or so. I live in a termite heaven, and since I started using it I haven't lost a single tomato plant to the little f#ers. Before, out in my back garden I would lose 15 to 20% of my plants. That's a big hit, because I focus on pounds per plant, and not per linear foot. At 2.50 per pound for cherries, and I lose a plant that would have made 30 to 40 lbs over the course of the season it's a hit.
    The grower I learned the technique from uses basically the same type of get-up that the guys in the video are using, only larger.
  16. No disrespect to LD as I think we would all acknowledge his skills...

    but this has to be one of the most massive suck up jobs I've ever seen...he ain't gonna share his buds just cuz you suck up to him...LMAO.
  17. #19 WeeDroid, Nov 24, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2011
    Fuck you, you rank piece of shit. Acknowledging someones exceptional generosity to organic growing knowledge, given freely, is not sucking up.

    I have JARS full of bud. I don't need anyone's buds.

    Now why don't you run off little boy and complain to some mod that I was mean to you, you stupid waste of carbon.
  18. [​IMG]


Share This Page