5 PRACTICAL USES FOR WOOD ASH

Lazy Gardener

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And, when cleaning ashes out of any wood burning appliance, be sure to place them in a METAL CONTAINER that DOES NOT HAVE ANY HOLES IN THE BOTTOM! AND, place that container on a non-combustible surface while you are cleaning the ash bin! Then, IMMEDIATELY place that container outside, well away from any buildings, and protect it from wind. Better yet, dump your ashes into a covered metal container. Many house fires are started by careless home owners: They think there are no live embers in the stove, b/c the last fire was several days ago, and the stove is cold to the touch. So, they grab a cardboard box, load it with ashes, then wander off to tend to an other matter.

When I clean out my ash bin, I rake the live coals to the side. Then, after dumping the ashes, I can rake the coals back over the grate. This creates a PERFECT opportunity to bake some potatoes before adding more wood to the stove.

8: save any "nuggets" to add to your compost. The micro-organisms in the compost will inoculate those charcoal nubs to create a cheater's version of biochar. I often steal some nuggets from the remaining live coals to set aside for this purpose.

9: Burn any bones left over from a meal. You have created "bone char" which makes a great soil amendment. The perfect end result will be a charred bone which is black all the way through, but still maintains most, if not all of it's shape. THEN, like biochar, it will benefit from exposure to soil micro-organisms to inoculate it. Soak it in a bucket of compost tea, bury it in your compost, or spread it in the Fall, so it will be ready to do it's magic in the Spring.
https://www.ecofarmingdaily.com/build-soil/soil-inputs/fertilizers/bone-char-benefits/

10: Use as a self choice feed amendment. My chickens go ape over stove ash, especially during the winter. So much so that they will have charcoal black poo! Be sure you never dump hot ash/coals where your livestock or pets can contact them!

11: Add cold ash to SOME of the poultry dust bathing areas. It acts as a natural parasite deterrent.
 
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Beekissed

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Making lye soap? I've used it for most of the purposes already mentioned but have yet to make lye soap from our ashes, though my grandmother used to do so.

The wild birds LOVE to eat the wood ashes also, as they are of some benefit for internal parasite removal and also hold valuable minerals for our own birds. My chickens love to pick through them.

I usually keep a charred log in animal pens for sampling and have seen them sample. My grandma used to do so with her pigs as well.

Control pond algae, shine tarnished silver, etc.

Here's a pretty extensive list of 60+ uses for it: https://practicalselfreliance.com/wood-ash-uses/

After reading some of this article I realized we've used ashes in the outhouse before too, just needed to read it to remember that.
 

flowerbug

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i add some to the gardens once in a while. a friend burns wood and used to throw his ashes away. i've been getting their ashes each spring and use them when i can. the little bits of charcoal let me know where i've been. :)
 

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