Asked on Mar 25, 2012

What to do with firepit ashes.

Karen UdensiRobert YoungEllen


We have a garbage can full of ashes from our firepit. Is spreading them on the garden a good idea? We're trying to find an ecofriendly way of disposing them.
10 answers
  • Douglas Hunt
    on Mar 25, 2012

    You should do a soil test first, Carol, as wood ash will raise the pH. The University of Iowa recommends applying no more than 20 pounds (about a five gallon bucket) of wood ash to 1000 square feet of lawn and gardens in late winter or early spring where the pH is below 7.0.

    • Thy1397022
      on Sep 19, 2015

      @Douglas Hunt I have killed one mature hydrangea by putting fireplace ashes around it.

  • Kathleen S
    on Mar 25, 2012

    We add ours tro our compost pile which also has a good amount of chicken manure and straw as well as organic scraps

  • Carol M
    on Mar 25, 2012

    Thanks so much!

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Mar 25, 2012

    You're welcome, Carol.

  • Twila M Moberly
    on Jul 2, 2015

    I knew some people who put the ashes around their raspberry bushes for the winter. They had a good crop of raspberries too.

  • Pamela Scruggs
    on Jul 10, 2015

    I use my wood ashes in my chicken coop for my chickens to take a dust bath so on the off chance you can't find anything to do with them you can always offer them to anyone that has a chicken coop and they probably love to have them

  • Janet
    on Aug 30, 2015

    wood ashes are great for the grass.

  • Ellen
    on Sep 19, 2015

    One important thing to think about before throwing them in the garden or giving them to the chickens is: it depends on what you burned in your fire pit. Some people throw in their plastic coated plates and cups, printed paper, trash, etc. It's mighty tempting, since it all appears to disappear into the fire! You might not want to put all those chemicals into what you will eventually eat.

  • Robert Young
    on Apr 2, 2016

    I dump my fireplace ashes on the area where I plan to plow up the space for my vegetable garden. I turn the soil w/a roto-tiller & include lime to sweeten the soil & fertilizer - a good 3 months before planting. I turn it again in about 6 weeks. The ashes help to keep the Georgia Red Clay from clumping.

  • Karen Udensi
    on May 14, 2016

    Wood she's also help kill unwanted insects. Great for plants you can even make soap out of them. Good, good stuff. 😊

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