3 Benefits Of Using Fireplace Ashes In Your Garden

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you take care to clean out the ashes when you're finished using it. But you might not know that using the ashes in your garden has many benefits. If you are looking to repurpose the ashes from your fireplace, this guide helps you understand three benefits of using fireplace ashes in a garden.

Fireplace Ashes Amend Soil

Wood ashes raise the pH level of soil. They contain calcium carbonate and become a liming agent when you work them into the ground. But it is important to have your soil tested by professional landscapers first to ensure that it actually needs amending.

If the pH level of your soil is low, work in the ashes with a hoe or shovel. Then have the soil tested again to ensure the levels aren't too high. Soil with high pH levels can lose nutrients such as potassium, iron and phosphorus. Hint: Don't use fireplace ashes around plants that prefer acidic soil.

Fireplace Ashes Fertilize Soil

Apply fireplace ashes the same way you would a fertilizer to raise the nutrient level of your garden soil. Wood ashes naturally contain potash, phosphates, iron, copper and zinc. Additionally, the harder the wood, the more potassium the ashes contain.

Always apply fireplace ashes in the winter. Work them into the soil evenly and do so several weeks before planting. Be careful not to allow piles of fireplace ashes to sit on the soil to avoid salt buildup.

Fireplace Ashes Repel Some Insects

As you are cleaning the ashes from your fireplace, put some in a plastic bag. Then take the ashes to your garden and lightly sprinkle the ashes around your plants to repel insects.

Be careful not to get any of the ashes on the plants themselves because this can cause chemical burns on the leaves. If some should land on the leaves, simply rinse them off with water.

The insect-repelling attribute of fireplace ashes goes away when the ashes get wet. Keep the plastic bag of ashes handy so that you can reapply after rain or snowfall.

Ensure that the ashes in your fireplace are completely cool before removing them from the fireplace. Ask your landscaper or fireplace professionals what type of wood would be best to burn to produce ashes for your particular type of soil. Share this with others who are having a fireplace installed and need some clever ideas to repurpose the ashes.