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Wood Stove Ashes? Answered

We have a wood stove, it produces ashes. Some of the ashes contain nails, so puting them on the driveway is not an option. We get 3 to 4 feet of snow. We know water and ashes make lie, so would not want to ruin any of our flowers or garden. How can we get rid of ashes in a green way




8 years ago

Water and ashes need to be boiled together to make lye, so it's no problem spreading it in Nature. Of course you should spread it around, and not dump buckets of it in one spot. I pour the ashes through a colander to get the nails out, then i use it as fertilizer in my organic garden, mixed with mature compost. If you burn stuff with paints and varnish, or treated wood, it's hazardous waste. If it's mostly hardwood, it'll make your soil more alkaline (the opposite of acidic) in the long run, but if soil alkalinity is not an issue, then it's great fertilizer. If it's mostly softwood, there is less alkaline effect, but better fertilizer effect, mostly potassium, but also many valuable trace minerals.

Use it for your weeding, if the ashes make your soil acidic. Then, spray the weeds with vinegar. Beyond that, I've designated a corner of my yard for ash disposal. Not exactly ideal, or 'green', but I didn't have any other ideas ...

You could make lye soap, or add it to your compost bin (you do compost don't you?). Hmm, that's all I can think of at the moment.

Thanks for the comment. We do put kitchen waste in the compost bin, then we got a note from the driver that they dont take ashes in either the compost or the regular garbage. would the ashes change the soil as the rain or snow would make lye and the soil would be acid. Would like your further comments.