Question of the Week – Number One: January 27, 2022

“Are fireplace ashes good for my lawn and garden? Can I add them to the compost pile?”

Photo courtesy Oregon State University.

Ashes are highly alkaline. Unless you are in a part of Texas that has acidic soils (generally, East Texas), it would be best not to use them in your landscape, garden, lawn or compost pile.

Either send them to the landfill or disperse them over a very large area so that their detrimental effects will be minimized.

Continued Below

The exception…
Gardeners in East Texas, where soils are typically acidic, can use ashes on lawns and landscapes to raise the soil pH and to reintroduce calcium, magnesium and potassium, among other nutrients back into the soil. Oregon State University suggests we use no more than 10-15 pounds of ash per 1,000 square feet and that we not apply it around blueberries, azaleas and other plants needing highly acidic soils.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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