Wood Ash - Natural Fertilizer
Do not forget that wood ash is the most valuable fertilizer. It contains in an accessible form all the nutrients a plant needs (with the exception of nitrogen), but it is especially rich in potassium.
Wood ash is a good potash and phosphorus fertilizer for acidic or neutral soils. In addition to potassium and phosphorus, which are found in ash in an easily accessible form for plants, ash contains calcium, magnesium, iron, sulfur and zinc, as well as many trace elements necessary for vegetables, perennials, as well as fruit and ornamental trees.
Ash does not contain chlorine, so it is good to use it under plants that react negatively to chlorine: wild strawberries, raspberries, currant, potatoes.
Cabbage various types of ash will protect against diseases such as keel and black leg. Responsive to its introduction and cucumbers, zucchini, squash. It is enough to add 1-2 tablespoons of ash per hole when planting seedlings or one glass per square meter when digging the beds.
When planting seedlings sweet pepper, eggplant and tomato add 3 tablespoons of ash per well and mix with the soil, or add 3 cups per square meter during soil treatment.
The introduction of ash into the planting pits and trunk circles is very beneficial cherries and drain. Once every 3-4 years, it is useful to feed them with ash. To do this, a groove 10-15 cm deep is made along the perimeter of the crown, into which ash is poured or ash solution is poured (2 glasses of ash into a bucket of water). The groove is immediately covered with earth. On an adult tree give about 2 kg. ashes.
Bushes respond well to ash black currant: under each bush make three glasses of ash and immediately close up into the soil.
For cooking liquid fertilizer from ash take 100-150 g per bucket of water. The solution, continuously mixing, carefully pour into the grooves and immediately cover the soil. Under tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage make about half a liter of solution per plant.
Use wood ash and for sprinkling and spraying plants from pests and diseases. Sprinkle plants with ash early in the morning, through dew, or after spraying them with clean water. A solution for processing plants is prepared as follows. Pour boiling water over 300 g of sifted ash and boil for 20-30 minutes. The broth is defended, filtered, diluted with water to 10 liters and 40-50 g of soap are added. Plants are sprayed in the evening in dry weather. To scare away slugs and snails, sprinkle dry ash on the stems and around their favorite plants.
On heavy soils make ash for digging in autumn and spring, and on light sandy loam - only in the spring. The application rate is 100-200 g per square meter. Ash fertilizes and alkalizes the soil, creates favorable conditions for the life of soil microorganisms, especially nitrogen-fixing bacteria. The introduction of ash into the soil increases the vitality of plants, they take root more quickly during transplantation and are less sick.
The action of ash lasts up to 2-4 years after application to the soil.
1 tablespoon contains 6 g of ash, in a faceted glass - 100 g, in a half-liter jar - 250 g, in a liter jar - 500 g of ash.
It is necessary to store the collected ash in a dry place, since moisture leads to the loss of potassium and trace elements.
Which ash is more beneficial?
The most valuable ash is obtained when burning herbaceous plants such as sunflower and buckwheat, which can contain up to 36% K2O. Of the tree species, the most potassium in ash is deciduous trees, especially birch. The least potassium and phosphorus in peat ash, but there is a lot of calcium.
Ash is good in that phosphorus and potassium are in it in a form readily available to plants. Phosphorus from ash is used even better than from superphosphate. Another great value of ash is the almost complete absence of chlorine, which means it can be used for crops that are particularly sensitive to this element and react negatively to it. Such plants include: raspberries, currants, strawberries, grapes, citrus fruits, potatoes and a number of vegetable crops. Ash also contains iron, magnesium, boron, manganese, molybdenum, zinc, sulfur.
What kind of ash to apply for different types of soil?
Sandy, sandy, sandy, sod-podzolic and bog soils - adding 70 g of ash per 1 m² completely satisfies the need of most plants for boron.
For all types of soils, except solonetzic - you can make wood and straw ash. This alkaline fertilizer is especially suitable for acidic sod-podzolic, gray forest, bog-podzolic and bog soils, which are poor in potassium, phosphorus, trace elements. Ash not only enriches the soil with nutrients, but also improves its structure, reduces its acidity. This creates favorable conditions for the development of beneficial microflora, resulting in increased productivity. The effects of this fertilizer can be felt up to 4 years.
To neutralize acidic soils, peat ash can be used (0.5-0.7 kg per m²), as well as oil shale ash containing up to 80% lime.
On loamy and clay soils, it is recommended that wood and straw ash be excavated during autumn digging, and on sandy and sandy loam soils in spring.
For vegetables, raspberries, strawberries, currants, you can use wood and straw ash - 100-150 g per m², for potatoes - 60-100 g per m². Peas eat well ashes - 150-200 g per m².
Ash is added and when planting seedlings of vegetable crops - 8-10 g of ash are added to the hole, mixing it with soil or humus.
For feeding take 30-50 g per m².
Under fruit trees make 100-150 g per 1 m². Ash should be embedded in the soil to a depth of at least 8-10 cm, since left on the surface, it forms a crust harmful to plants and microflora.
To increase the efficiency of wood and straw ash, it is better to use together with peat or humus as an organo-mineral mixture (1 part of the ash is mixed with 2-4 parts of wet peat or humus). This mixture allows you to evenly distribute the fertilizer over the site, and plants better absorb the nutrients in it.
It is correct and useful to use ash in composts to accelerate the decomposition of organic substances. For the preparation of peat composts per 1 ton of peat take 25-50 kg. wood ash or 50-100 kg. peat (depending on the acidity of peat), while its acidity is also neutralized.
Do not mix ash with ammonium sulfate, as well as with manure, slurry, faeces, bird droppings - this leads to a loss of nitrogen. Mixing with superphosphate, phosphate rock and Thomas slag reduces the availability of phosphorus to plants. For the same reason, ash should not be added together with lime and applied on recently calcified soils.
Wood and straw ash can also be used to combat diseases and pests, for example, against the gray rot of strawberries. During ripening, the bushes are pollinated at the rate of 10-15 g of ash per bush. Sometimes pollination is repeated 2-3 times, but ash is already consumed less - 5-7 g per bush. The disease decreases sharply and almost completely stops.
Also, ash is well suited for the control of powdery mildew of currants, cucumbers, gooseberries, cherry mucous sawfly and other pests and diseases. For this, the plants are sprayed with a solution: 300 g of sifted ash are boiled for half an hour, the settled broth is filtered and brought to 10 liters. For better adhesion add 40 g of any soap. It is better to spray plants in the evening in calm weather. This treatment can be done 2-3 times a month.
Store ash in a dry room, as it absorbs moisture well. And water leaches nutrients from the ash, primarily potassium, and its value as fertilizer decreases sharply.
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