The Q&A Archives: Wood Ashes

Question: Is it a good idea to burn winter-fallen leaves, tree limbs, and pine straw in my garden during the winter months when nothing is growing in the garden? I have heard that it is good to let the pot ash that comes from these items to settle into the soil.

Answer: Applying wood ashes will raise the soil pH. I'd suggest you have your soil tested so you know what you're working with and then apply the ashes with caution - or at least limit the amount you use and apply only every 2-3 years. You can cause serious imbalances within the soil by applying too much wood ash too often.

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