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Old 05-01-2013, 06:39 PM   #1
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What to do with the ash afterwards?

I love the aromas and flavours from burning charcoal and smoking wood, but I don't know what to do with all the ash afterwards. I'm worried that spreading the ash in the garden will alter the soil's pH. I grow lots of acid-loving plants in my garden. Any advice?
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:01 PM   #2
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The ashes will acidify the soil. You could put the out with your trash after ensuring they are completely cold.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:33 PM   #3
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Not sure the fat and meat drippings in the burnt charcoal would be a good thing for the garden. I would go with trashing 'em.

If it's uncooked-with wood ash, maybe.

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gar...f-used-caution
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:37 PM   #4
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I sell them to the local Catholic diocese shortly before Easter. On a Tuesday night if I remember correctly.


They hit the burn pit. Ashes to ashes as they say.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:50 PM   #5
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Not sure the fat and meat drippings in the burnt charcoal would be a good thing for the garden. I would go with trashing 'em.

If it's uncooked-with wood ash, maybe.

Wood ash can be useful in yard if used with caution | Oregon State University Extension Service | Gardening

When I'm finished cooking, the charcoal is still pretty hot so any drippings would be incinerated. I don't think that would be a concern.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:47 PM   #6
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I'm reminded of that episode of Married With Children where AL declares the secret to his burgers are the ashes left behind. What occurs next is that a relatives cremated ashes are used by Kelly and Bud in lieu of the ashes that they spilled out of his BBQ.

AL can't help but gloat how good the burgers taste with his secret ingredient, leftover ashes.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:01 PM   #7
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I'm reminded of that episode of Married With Children where AL declares the secret to his burgers are the ashes left behind. What occurs next is that a relatives cremated ashes are used by Kelly and Bud in lieu of the ashes that they spilled out of his BBQ.

AL can't help but gloat how good the burgers taste with his secret ingredient, leftover ashes.
great show!

Andy's probably right, but I still wouldn't use my dripping-infused coals in the garden. Just my 2 pesos worth.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:23 PM   #8
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lol, pacnar.
a girl that i knew years ago that volunteered in a church used to collect the flowers (once they were spent afternoons easter) and give them to me for my compost pile.

i'm surprised no one mentioned composting them.

you can spread xit directly into your garden if your garden is large enough, and/or you till it in deep enough so as to have a negligible effect on the ph.

they can actually be helpful for some plants if your ph is too low. conversely, they can be helpful for acid loving plants like hollies and junipers.

you can even change the colour of your hydrangeas by adding ash to their surrounding soil.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:59 AM   #9
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I reckon one of the benefits of living in a mostly rural area is that there are plenty of fields. I deposit my ashes in the field next to the house. Never known it to do any harm as long as the ashes are cold.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:44 AM   #10
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If the ashes are from wood or lump charcoal (as opposed to briquettes) I add them to my mulch pile. As the OP noted, wood ash is typically alkaline.

Per
Wood Ash: An Alternative Liming Material for Agricultural Soils



"Wood Ash and Agricultural Lime

Calcitic limestone (CaCO3) is the liming material used most often to neutralize acid soils. Burned lime (quick lime, calcium oxide or CaO) and hydrated lime (slaked lime, builder's lime, calcium hydroxide or Ca(OH)2) are also used for soil application in Europe; however, the higher cost of these materials limits their use in western Canada. Wood ash contains oxides and hydroxides of calcium, magnesium, potassium and, to a lesser extent, sodium making wood ash similar to burned or hydrated lime in its mode of action.

Wood ash also contains many of the nutrients originally absorbed from the soil by tree growth, so it may improve crop growth through improved nutrition. By comparison, agricultural lime contains only minimal amounts of plant nutrients. A significant amount of phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and potassium (potash) is added to the soil when wood ash is used as a liming material. "
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:02 AM   #11
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afternoon easter?

i hate it when my phone decides to add or modify words.

also, i meant if your ph is too high, you can lower it with ash.

and just to continue what jpb said, don't use ash from briquettes unless you know that it has no chemical additives and hasn't been started with lighter fluid.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:13 AM   #12
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A higher the PH is less acidic (more alkaline).
Lemonade = ~ 2.5
Calcium Carbonate = ~ 9
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:25 AM   #13
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I sell them to the local Catholic diocese shortly before Easter. On a Tuesday night if I remember correctly.


They hit the burn pit. Ashes to ashes as they say.
I was told as a kid that the church burns the palms left over from Palm Sunday for next years' Ash Wednesday.

As a kid everyone that had a wood burning stove, used the ashes on the sidewalk to keep folks from slipping and falling. That was before it was law that you had to shovel your walk.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:52 AM   #14
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You know, Addie, I was just thinking the same thing. That they must burn the previous year's leftover palms. I'm sure it just isn't any old ash. Not sure if they bless it or not. I was raised catholic, but don't recall ever going to church on Ash Wed or asking where they got the ashes.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:32 PM   #15
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Charcoal briquettes have waxes and other ingredients in them that cause them to lite easier, burn longer, etc. These other ingredients are not good for plants, and can kill them.

natural lump charcoal ass is ok to add to your garden. It will reduce the acidity of your soil, or raise the PH. If you are growing acid loving plants, don't put ash in the soil they are going to be planted in. Check with your local nursery, or on line for information on specific plants.

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Old 05-02-2013, 07:58 PM   #16
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You know, Addie, I was just thinking the same thing. That they must burn the previous year's leftover palms. I'm sure it just isn't any old ash. Not sure if they bless it or not. I was raised catholic, but don't recall ever going to church on Ash Wed or asking where they got the ashes.
I am not Catholic but was raised in an Italian town. So I just always knew. Once something has been blessed, you can't just throw it away without having a priest remove the blessing.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:06 AM   #17
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I collect and add my my wood ashes to our garden every spring. It seems to be good for the garden. We have plenty of tasty veggies come out of it every year.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:34 AM   #18
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I collect and add my my wood ashes to our garden every spring. It seems to be good for the garden. We have plenty of tasty veggies come out of it every year.
Wood ash - good.
Charcoal briquette ash - no good.

One of the best places to find great, wild blueberries, or morel mushrooms, in the wild, is to go to where there was a fire. The wood ash adds a great many nutrients back into the soil, making is especially fertile for new growth.

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Old 09-09-2013, 12:40 PM   #19
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After cooking, most, if not all, drippings are evaporated/incinerated. Most ashes are always good for any type of gardens. I always throw all my ashes in my grass or garden. Tomatoes especially love them
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:45 PM   #20
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After cooking, most, if not all, drippings are evaporated/incinerated. Most ashes are always good for any type of gardens. I always throw all my ashes in my grass or garden. Tomatoes especially love them
When I was a kid, the ashes from the stove or furnace were thrown on the sidewalk in the winter to prevent slipping on the ice. Didn't have to shovel back then. The snow was packed down for sleds to glide over. That is how you got your groceries home from the store. On a sled. Or sat the baby on instead of a carriage.
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