Making wood ash for garden soil – prepper survival

Quick video describing how we make wood ash that you can use to add to your garden soil for added nutrients. This is a great method of those who love gardening. If you are in to survival or prepping, then this might be a great future tip for you.

Wood ash does have fertilizer value, the amount varying somewhat with the species of wood being used. Generally, wood ash contains less than 10 percent potash, 1 percent phosphate and trace amounts of micro-nutrients such as iron, manganese, boron, copper and zinc. Trace amounts of heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, nickel and chromium also may be present. Wood ash does not contain nitrogen.

The largest component of wood ash (about 25 percent) is calcium carbonate, a common liming material that increases soil alkalinity. Wood ash has a very fine particle size, so it reacts rapidly and completely in the soil. Although small amounts of nutrients are applied with wood ash, the main effect is that of a liming agent.

Increasing the alkalinity of the soil does affect plant nutrition. Nutrients are most readily available to plants when the soil is slightly acidic. As soil alkalinity increases and the pH rises above 7.0, nutrients such as phosphorus, iron, boron, manganese, copper, zinc and potassium become chemically tied to the soil and less available for plant use.

Applying small amounts of wood ash to most soils will not adversely affect your garden crops, and the ash does help replenish some nutrients. But because wood ash increases soil pH, adding large amounts can do more harm than good. Keep in mind that wood ash that has been exposed to the weather, particularly rainfall, has lost a lot of its potency, including nutrients.

Specific recommendations for the use of wood ash in the garden are difficult to make because soil composition and reaction varies from garden to garden. Acidic soils (pH less than 5.5) will likely be improved by wood ash addition. Soils that are slightly acidic (pH 6.0 to 6.5) should not be harmed by the application of 20 pounds per 100 square feet annually, if the ash is worked into the soil about 6 inches or so. However, if your soil is neutral or alkaline (pH 7.0 or greater), find another way to dispose of wood ash. If you don’t know your soil’s acidity or alkalinity level, have it tested for pH.

Categories: Survival Skill


  1. Longsnowsm
    Longsnowsm 27 June, 2016, 23:22

    Good tip, and wood ash raises PH, not lowers it. So don't apply near acid loving plants like your blueberries… :-)

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  2. canthemum
    canthemum 27 June, 2016, 23:22

    Is there any way to buy wood ash? I'd like to buy some for cheap to use for various purposes. Would anybody know where I could buy some at a good price? (Ebay and Amazon were a bust).

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  3. Ed Harley
    Ed Harley 27 June, 2016, 23:22

    To correct the mistake- Wood ash has a high pH, usually over 9. This means that adding ash will likely raise the pH of your soil, making it more basic and LESS ACIDIC. So don't add ash to soils that are already basic., and do not put ash around acid loving plants.

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  4. Amanda Ramey
    Amanda Ramey 27 June, 2016, 23:22

    I thought raising ph means lowering acidity, raising alkalinity… ?

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  5. amerikarma
    amerikarma 27 June, 2016, 23:22

    good job guys

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  6. Edwin Dueck
    Edwin Dueck 27 June, 2016, 23:22

    Thanks for the video.

    Reply this comment
  7. TheScientist40
    TheScientist40 27 June, 2016, 23:22

    Just to clarify things, wood ash, with its potassium carbonate, calcium carbonate, and various oxides, raises the Ph of soil, which makes it more basic, less acidic. If you start with a neutral Ph of 7, it can be raised by wood ash to as high as 10.

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  8. Dragan Pastrovic
    Dragan Pastrovic 27 June, 2016, 23:22

    ash makes soil less acidic,sweeter soil

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  9. whittle4u
    whittle4u 27 June, 2016, 23:22

    How do you know if your soil needs that though?

    Reply this comment
  10. magicdonjuan27
    magicdonjuan27 27 June, 2016, 23:22

    Cherry wood I thought sells pretty good. I believe its more then pecan.

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  11. Pandora Leigh
    Pandora Leigh 27 June, 2016, 23:22

    higher pH is basic, lower pH is acidic. You should throw brisket over that cherry smoke!

    Reply this comment
  12. GooseArrow
    GooseArrow 27 June, 2016, 23:22

    Thanks Scutter! Excellent advice.

    Reply this comment

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