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Nutritional value of bonfire ashes

PostPosted: 19 Mar 2011 21:19
by Pete

Two or three times a year I have a bonfire to dispose of the woody garden rubbish that cannot go on to the compost heap. A couple of days after the bonfire, I routinely spread the ashes around the base of fruit bushes in the garden; blackcurrants, redcurrants, jostaberries, gooseberries and raspberries.

This practise has become habit, the fruit bushes always produce a good crop and maintain good health. However, does anyone know any facts about the nutritional value of bonfire ashes? It would be good to find out about the science behind it.

PostPosted: 20 Mar 2011 20:00
by gardening_guru
Hello Pete,

I'm not an expert on this subject. However, I think the nutritional value of the bonfire ashes will depnd on the type of wood burnt. Generally though, bonfire ashes will contain Phosphorus, Calcium, Potassium, and Magnesium.

If copious are used, bonfire ashes can over time, neutralise acidic soils because of the calcium content. This of course, makes the ashes unsuitable for use around ericaceous plants