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Top 5 unusual uses for your wood ash

Wood ash, often viewed as mere waste from a woodburner, can actually be repurposed in various beneficial ways. From enhancing your garden to acting as a natural cleaner, wood ash proves to be an unexpectedly versatile resource. In this blog, we’ll delve into five creative uses for wood ash, helping you leverage its potential. Whether you’re an avid gardener, pet owner, or just looking for eco-friendly solutions, these tips will reveal how to make the most out of wood ash.

1. Natural Insect Repellent

Wood ash can serve as an effective, eco-friendly insect repellent for your garden. Sprinkling fine ash on plants, especially brassicas, helps deter pests like caterpillars. As the ash washes off with rain, it simultaneously nourishes the plants with its mineral content.

2. Soil Conditioner

Direct application of wood ash to your garden soil can improve its quality. Ash is slightly alkaline and rich in minerals, making it suitable for neutralising acidic soils and providing a nutrient boost. It’s particularly beneficial for vegetables and some fruit trees, but avoid using it on acid-loving plants.

3. Enhancing Pond Plant Growth

For those with water gardens, wood ash can support the health of aquatic plants and help control algae. The potassium in ash promotes plant growth, but it should be used sparingly—about one tablespoon per 1,000 gallons of water—to maintain the water’s balance.

4. Chicken Coop Enhancer

Chickens naturally dust bathe to control pests like mites. Adding wood ash to their bathing area can enhance this behaviour, helping reduce mite infestations and maintain feather health. Sprinkling ash under bedding in laying boxes can further discourage mites.

5. Cleaning Woodburner Glass

Using wood ash to clean the glass on your woodburner is an effective, natural method. A damp cloth dipped in ash can easily remove soot and deposits. However, consistently blackened glass indicates incomplete combustion, often due to burning unseasoned wood, poor airflow, or improper stove use. Regular maintenance and correct usage can keep the glass clean and the stove efficient.

Bonus Use: Odour Neutraliser in Compost Piles

Wood ash can be used as an odour neutraliser in compost piles. By sprinkling ash over the compost, you can help reduce unpleasant smells while also adding valuable nutrients to the compost. This not only makes the composting process more pleasant but also enriches the resulting compost, making it more beneficial for your garden.

Do you simply add your ash to your compost heap or leave it in your stove for the next fire? Perhaps you have an innovative use for it that we’ve missed from our top 5 list. We’d love to hear what you use your ash for.