Can you add wood stove ash to compost? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 02-25-2013, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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We have a ton of wood stove ash and no idea if it'd be a good idea to mix in with our compost.


I am sure Martha Stewart would have a great craft idea or mix it with glue to make an attractive, yet functional centerpiece or something, but I'm just clueless on this one.

Thanks to anybody who has a moment to school me.

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#2 of 5 Old 02-25-2013, 07:31 PM
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We did with no apparent trouble, but in general, add it directly to the soil, not the compost.  Chickens like to take dust baths in it, and it kills mites effectively.  This is assuming that "wood stove ash" has zero garbage in it, except that bit of paper used to light it.

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#3 of 5 Old 02-26-2013, 12:36 PM
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If you have acidic soil and your plants like more neutral it's a great addition to the garden or compost.

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#4 of 5 Old 02-26-2013, 01:07 PM
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My research (& experience) says yes, but in very limited amounts. Wood ash + water + time = lye! Lye can kill your compost flora & fauna.


Great idea for chicken dust bathing! That will save me $$ on DE!


I usually just sprinkle ash where the chickens like to roost (& poo) to kill the smell & yuck factor. I've also dumped it next to the compost (on the downhill side!) then it's available for the garden. A good rule of thumb-- any plant that should be limed, can be ashed, but in much smaller quantities (so NOT potatoes, blueberries, or anything else that likes acid soil); just sprinkle it on the dirt around anything that likes alkaline soil.


Also, if your compost isn't "cooked" yet, ie, if it's too fresh & not completely broken down, adding a sprinkle of ash when planting can help keep leaf mold (partial-compost) from being too acid for general garden use. HTH & makes sense. This is important in my area bc we are all scrub oak & pine which makes a VERY acid leaf mold & compost.


OR find a soap-maker; she'll love you! Some soap makers do brew their own lye from ash, esp now that commercial lye is so restricted, expensive, & hard to find.

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#5 of 5 Old 03-16-2013, 03:25 PM
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It's also great to deter slugs.  sprinkle it around garden areas that get sluggy.

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