Soft green grasses often serve as recreation for people. But, the major challenge lies in maintaining its health. You will be surprised that ashes have many useful properties for growing grasses. These ashes may be of different types based on the wood used for burning.
The types of ashes include charcoal, paper, and cardboard ash. But, wood ashes are easily accessible and a good source of potassium. The effects of wood ash on grasses will depend on the quantity, method, and time of application. This ash fertilizes plants with specific nutrients like potassium and calcium.
Let’s know how good it is to use wood ash for grass.
Is Wood Ash Good for Grass?
Wood ash is good for grass as it contains nutrients like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. If you need to fertilize your lawn with potassium, apply wood ash. Moreover, you’ll be surprised to see the results of it as it is also rich in nutrients like aluminum, sodium, and phosphorus.
Lawn grasses prefer slightly acidic soils, but most nutrients are unavailable in acidic conditions. In such times, wood ash turns the soil pH near neutral so most nutrients become available for the grasses.
Since wood ash has more amount of calcium, it is highly alkaline to raise the soil pH. Sometimes, we use limestone for this purpose, but wood ash is faster than lime. This is possible as wood ash is easily soluble in water.
Does Wood Ash Kill Grass?
Wood ash doesn’t kill grass when applied properly and at a suitable time. But if you apply wood ash to an alkaline soil, the soil will turn more alkaline. The result is that the grasses will die. This effect happens because grasses love to grow in slightly acidic soils.
So, take proper care of soil pH while supplying wood ash to your lawn grasses. Always test the soil pH before applying wood ash as a precautionary measure. There are separate plastic strips, testers, and meters available in shops for soil testing. After testing, if the pH is between 6.0 and 7.0, avoid adding wood ash as it will destroy the grass.
How to Spread Wood Ash on Lawns?
Wood ash is a great and efficient way to provide essential nutrients to your grass. However, you must know how to spread wood ash on your lawn for the desired result. Here, we will give you a step-by-step guide so that you can know the best way to lay out wood ash on your lawn.
Step 1. Remove the Debris
First, you must collect all kinds of debris, like dried twigs, branches, leaves, and twine, and remove them from your lawn. This debris covers the grass and does not let the wood ash get to the roots of the grass and get the nutrients from it. It also helps you get the correct lawn measurement and know what amount of wood ash would be sufficient.
Step 2. Water Your Lawn
If you have decided to spread the wood ash directly to the lawn, you must follow it with watering it. It helps the ash blow away from the surface of the lawn with wind. Also, if the residence is near your lawn, you can avoid the ash entering your living area when your lawn is wet.
Step 3. Brush the Ash
Brush the ash over the surface of your lawn if you’re working it into the soil ground. You can take the help of the most convenient tool, a leaf brush. But without a leaf brush, an ordinary garden rake would also work well.
Step 4. Mix the Ash with the Soil
After spreading the wood ash on the ground, you need to mix it well with soil to reach the grassroots or at least the top one inch of the soil. You can do it with a shovel or a garden hoe. This step helps prevent the growth of hazardous bacteria and fungi in your grass. Also, this process helps enhance the overall appearance of your lawn.
Step 5. Water the Lawn Again
Once you follow all the steps mentioned above, water your lawn for the one last time after spreading the ash.
When to Put Wood Ash in the Garden?
The best time to apply wood ash is winter or early spring. Apply wood ash at least a month before planting for good results. Sometimes, you can top dress or side dress the ash till the planting time. Take utmost care while applying wood ash to plants. Always wear a mask and use the ash in less wind conditions.
Benefits of Wood Ash on Grass
Wood ash’s potassium and phosphorous content is a good nutrient for your lawn. Potassium increases the vigor, metabolism, and root growth of grasses. To apply wood ash, sprinkle it lightly on the grass and rake it into the soil. This aerates the soil and promotes new growth. Water the grass thoroughly after applying wood ash.
Ten to Fifteen pounds of wood ash is sufficient to treat a thousand square feet of grass. Grasses like Perennial rye, fine fescue, tall fescue, Bermuda grass, and St. Augustine respond very well to wood ash treatment.
Which Plants Like Wood Ash the Most?
Carrots, beets, greens, lettuce, and onions are alkaline pH-loving plants. Artichokes, tomatillos, and collards love growing in acidic soil but need a slight rise in pH for survival. Brassica members like cauliflower and broccoli often get club root disease and pest attacks. Wood ash is good for all these plants due to its alkaline nature. It also has antimicrobial and pest-repelling properties.
Don’t apply wood ash on acidic pH-loving plants like apples, azaleas, potatoes, rhododendrons, and hydrangeas. If applied, it affects the plant’s growth and leads to its death.
Yes, Charcoal ash is good to use for grass. It should be wood charcoal without any additives for good results on grasses. Charcoal ash contains potassium carbonate, which is highly nutritious for plants.
Paper ash contains similar nutrients as wood ash to some extent. However, it is unsuitable for providing essential nutrients compared to wood ash. Use it only to change the soil pH.
Apply wood ash scattered around the grass in moist conditions and mix the soil well. It should not be left as a heap as the salts leach into the soil, creating undesirable effects.
Wood ash contains salt, which makes it an effective pest-repellent. Sprinkling around the affected crop can repel snails, slugs, and ants. Reapply the solution if rain washes away the previously applied ash.
Use wood ash composted with other home wastes because wood ash releases lye and salt when wet, which can burn plants. The composting process washes away the lye and salt from the ash. Then, it becomes safe to apply for plants.
Ashes, particularly wood ash, have many benefits to our lawn grasses. It can raise pH, repel pests, and provide essential nutrients. It is a cheap and readily available input for garden plants.
The best part is that you can also use it to kill weeds, or destroy ant mounds and control snails. Wood ash delivers excellent results when used as a compost instead of its direct application.
Did you know wood ash has so many benefits? Now stop throwing it away and start using it in your garden.