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Can I put ashes from our fire on the compost heap?

(5 Posts)
HeadFairy Sat 31-Oct-09 11:46:31

We've in herited a composter in our new garden, so I'm busily adding to it in the hope I'll have something lovely to put on the garden in spring... however, can I put ashes from the fire on there? We mostly burn logs, with the occasional lump of coal. Does it make a difference what you burn?

Ponders Sat 31-Oct-09 11:51:36

Very wordy but helpful American advice smile

Short answer seems to be yes, some, but not too much & ash from ordinary wood only

HeadFairy Sat 31-Oct-09 11:54:58

Hmm thanks for that... I have quite acidic soil I think (lots of camelias in the garden) so I reckon from the sounds of it I should keep it to a minimum. That's a shame, because it was a very neat disposal solution for the ashes!

Takver Sat 31-Oct-09 16:20:29

I'd add that it isn't really a good substitute for liming - I can't remember the exact reasons, but anything more than a very small amount can do nasty things to the cation (sp?) exchange capacity of the soil (!) ie it can bugger up the soil so that plant roots can't extract nutrients effectively.
A small amount in your compost is fine, but really not much, just a sprinkle every so often, and IME even with quite serious amounts of compost its hard to make a dent in the amount of ash a woodburner produces.

bellabelly Tue 03-Nov-09 15:07:09

I've been putting ashes on my onions - dad told me it was good for them, no idea why but am doing what I'm told!

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