Some information about ash
Ash is a traditional natural mineral fertilizer; probably, all gardeners and gardeners use it. However, not all ash is useful.
The composition of the ash depends on what was burned: wood, straw, sunflower stems, potato tops, manure, peat, etc. After the fire does its job, valuable mineral fertilizer remains, which usually contains up to 30 nutrients needed by the plant. The main ones: potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, silicon, sulfur. There are trace elements: boron, manganese, etc. But there is practically no nitrogen in the ash, its compounds evaporate with smoke.
Most potassium in the ash obtained by burning grass, straw, tops of potatoes and leaves. Among the tree species, the champion in potassium is elm. By the way, solid wood ash contains more potassium than soft ash. Birch firewood leads in the content of calcium and phosphorus. A lot of phosphorus is also found in bark and wheat straw. When burning brushwood of young trees, ash is formed, which is richer in nutrients than when burning trunks of forest centenarians.
About potato tops it is worth mentioning especially. About 30% of potassium, 15% of calcium and 8% of phosphorus remain in it from ash.. And if you list all the nutrients it contains, then we will find a significant part of the periodic table: potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, sodium, silicon, iron, aluminum, manganese, copper, zinc, boron, bromine, iodine, arsenic , molybdenum, nickel, cobalt, titanium, strontium, chromium, lithium, rubidium.
But betting on ash from coal, especially low-grade coal, is not worth it. It has very few nutrients and many sulfur compounds. And of course, do not use what remains after burning chemical waste, the products of combustion of many polymers and dyes are poisonous.
How to feed - dry ash or dissolved in water? If you want all the nutrients to be quickly absorbed by the plants, dilute the fertilizer in water. Usually they take a glass of ash in a bucket of water and use this solution on an area of 1-2 sq.m. Dry ash is introduced when digging or loosening the soil, spending 3-5 glasses per 1 sq.m. By the way, on clay soil this is done in spring and autumn, and on sandy soil only in spring, because mineral substances are quickly washed out.
It is useful to add ash to compost. It contributes to the rapid transformation of organics into fertile humus.. Laying a compost heap, each layer of food waste, grass and weeds is sprinkled with ash. At the same time, it is consumed up to 10 kg per 1 cubic meter of compost.
Slices of fleshy rhizomes are also sprinkled with ash. Ash not only dries the surface, but also "puts" a barrier to various rot.
Author: N. Lavrov - Ekaterinburg