Soluble forms of potassium are fairly available, but soluble forms of phosphorus are rare, making ash a valuable soil amendment. OSU Extension has several publications that will aid in this endeavor. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. – William Gerth, OSU Extension Master Gardener, Bumble bees pollinating flowers. This is because wood ash will produce lye and salts if it gets wet. Use in Place of Baking Soda. It can bring 13 natural nutrients to your soil and deter insects as well. Wood ash is an excellent source of lime and potassium for your garden. But wood ash fertilizer is best used either lightly scattered, or by first being composted along with the rest of your compost. Wood ashes will raise the pH and lower the acid in soil. Wood ash is about four percent potassium, and less than two percent phosphorus, magnesium, aluminum, and sodium. It has extensive lists of further resources related to pollinators. Wood ash is known to be the powder that is left formed, right after a piece of wood undergoes combustion by means of burning. Be sure to water thoroughly to give the wood ash a chance to soak in. Megachilid Bees in the Pacific Northwest. Nurturing Mason Bees in Your Backyard in Western Oregon, Encouraging Beneficial Insects in Your Garden, Pollinator Plants: Maritime Northwest Region, Homes & Gardens of the Northwest on Facebook. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! A: Indeed, there are several ways that you can make a difference in your landscaping practices that will benefit many kinds of bees. Here are some questions asked by other gardeners. Keep reading to understand more about wood ash uses in the garden. Subscribe to OregonLive. This extension publication is no longer in the catalog, but the information is still good. To use wood ash for pest control, simply sprinkle it around the base of plants being attacked by soft bodied pests. Using Wood Ash as a Fertilizer Wood ash is an excellent source of lime and potassium for your garden. – Benton County. Wood ash from natural, untreated wood is the only type you should use to fertilize your grass. A: Yes, wood ash can be applied to the soil as a source of highly soluble potassium and phosphorus, but with caveats: Whenever you implement a soil fertility program that changes soil pH, it behooves you to implement a routine pH testing strategy. Then if I haven’t completely caused you to go cross-eyed, another invaluable website to peruse is the Oregon Bee Project put together by the Oregon State University pollinator protection group. Turn to Ask an Expert, an online question-and-answer tool from Oregon State University’s Extension Service. © 2020 Advance Local Media LLC. Read more articles about Soil, Fixes & Fertilizers. Do you what it is and what I should do with it? The small amounts of these nutrients is the reason that ash is considered a “low grade” fertilizer. Q: I use only seasoned wood from a local provider in my wood burning stove. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20). One issue is that the ash will produce high amounts of salt and lye if it gets wet. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. I suggest using anywhere from 5 to 50 pounds per 1,000 square feet. In terms of commercial fertilizer, average wood ash would be about 0 … Read more about Soil, Fixes & Fertilizers. While you are improving habitat for bees of all sorts, you might also become interested in other beneficial insects that can be attracted to the same type of landscaping. It has a wealth of information about why to plant specific flowers, what to plant, and how to plant them. Enjoy this new project and congratulations for taking the first step to help protect pollinators. Use your wood ash dry, as once it is wet, the nutrients are washed away. I want to learn more about constructing/providing habitats to pollinators, such as mason bees and carpenter bees, for example. Hardwoods yield more ash, and therefore a higher percentage of nutrients than soft woods. There should not be any adult wasps around at this time of the year, so there shouldn’t be any chance of getting stung. The short answer to if you should use wood ash as a fertilizer is “yes.” That being said, you need to be careful about how and where you use wood ash in the garden, and composting ashes is a good idea. If phosphorus is low in your soil, add bones to the bonfire and crush them with the charcoal. Beware of excess chemical salts, however, as these can burn plant roots. Bees, like all living beings need food, water, and shelter. What type of areas, for example vegetable plot, fruit trees, lawn? I would like to learn designs for houses/materials to encourage pollinators to live on my property. A common question about composting is, “Should I put ashes in my garden?” You may wonder if ashes in the garden will help or hurt, and if you use wood or charcoal ashes in the garden, how it will affect your garden. The one you have is most likely from the genus Sceliphron, but there is a chance it could be from the genus Chalybion instead. Kym Pokorny | For The Oregonian/OregonLive. Not only that, using ashes in the garden also provides many of the trace elements that plants need to thrive. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. However, if you want to move it or get rid of the nest, you could just scrape it off. In that case, read through Encouraging Beneficial Insects in Your Garden. Monitor annually, at about the same time of year every year, and record the results so you can see any developing trends. The salt in the wood ash will kill bothersome pests like snails, slugs and some kinds of soft bodied invertebrates. if so, how much and how often? 1 Pound of Clean Wood Ash (Natural Fertilizer, Change Soil Ph Levels, Slug Killer, Protect Plants Over Winter, Control Pond Algae, Boost Organic Tomato Plants, Compost, Melt Ice, Make Soap, Shine Silver, Ceramics, Pottery, Ashes Clay Glaze) by NganHing. Consider adding a light dusting of wood ash to the grass. Download Using Wood Ashes in the Home Garden at no cost from the ScholarsArchive@OSU. Because of this, you should also be careful not to use wood ashes as fertilizer on acid loving plants like azaleas, gardenias and blueberries. 2 Loosen the top 2 to 3 inches of soil surrounding your tree at the beginning of the spring season, taking care not to disturb visible roots. I'm guessing it's a wasp nest. 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