As the heating season begins, folks with fireplaces and wood stoves wonder if they can use the ashes in their

landscape. Compared to a bag of store-bought fertilizer, ashes don't contain many nutrients, but your plants will appreciate the bit of phosphorus and potassium just the same.
The major contribution of ashes is as a substitute for garden lime. Ashes and lime are both alkaline; they "sweeten" soil and make it less acidic. Ashes, though, are so alkaline that you wouldn't want to apply too much to your soil.
A good rule of thumb is to spread no more than 25 pounds of ashes over 1,000 square feet of lawn or garden each year (10 pounds each six months).
Since preformed artificial fireplace logs are made from wood chips, their ashes can be used just as you would use "natural" ashes.

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2 of 9 comments
  • Patsy W
    on Dec 9, 2011

    Great post & reminder Walter...any plants that will really benefit from fireplace ash, ie azaelas, hydrangias etc?

  • Azaleas, hydrangeas, camellias etc like acid. The ashes help to neutralize the soil so no ahes for acid loving plants. Maybe they can make a worse environment for moss in the lawn?

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