The Q&A Archives: Anthracite Coal Ashes

Question: In the winter months I use Coal for fuel.I accumilate a lots of ashes. I would like to know if I can use the ashes in my garden or beds mixed with top soil to grow vegetables or shrubs.

Answer: Two authoritative texts in our library indicate that coal ash
has sulfur and iron in levels
that can harm plants. Though both sulfur and iron are plant
nutrients, too much of a good thing can be toxic. Coal from
different sources has different amounts of these materials, so
the rule isn't hard and fast. If you're looking for ways to add nutrients to your soil,
compost, animal manures, yard wastes and green manures
(cover crops that are tilled into the soil) are the best bet. If you
aren't sure how to dispose of your coal ashes otherwise,
contact the state or district solid waste disposal office.

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