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Wood Ash Minerals and Trace elements enhance Plant Health and Growth
Wood ash is a good source of lime and potassium for your garden as well as many other trace elements that benefit plants. It is best used in moderation, scattered lightly and well mixed into your compost. Wood ash produces salts and lye and if not used sparingly can damage or kill your plants - when composted much of the salts and lye is depleted.
Ashes from hardwoods, such as oak ,maple, walnut are best, the nutrients and minerals in wood ash from hardwoods is much higher. Softwoods such as pine contain less nutrients and minerals.
When the ash gets wet, you will need to refresh it as the water will leach away the salt that makes it an effective pest control.
Wood Ash for Pest Control
Wood ash is also helpful to control some pests. The salt in the wood ash kills snails, slugs and deters some other soft bodied invertebrates.
To use wood ash for pest control, simply sprinkle the wood ash around the base of plants that are being attacked by soft bodied pests.
Wood ash will also change the pH of your garden soil. Wood ashes raises the pH and lowers the acidity of the soil. Therefore DO NOT USE Wood Ash with acid loving plants such as Blueberries and rhododendrons.