Start a new thread

1 to 10 of 10 replies

Is it OK to use wood stove ashes in my garden. Thanks.


Hi Eddie3 

When I lived out in the sticks and had a woodburning stove I used the ash in layers in the compost heap.  We also spread it on the veg patch and allotment in the winter and forked it in and left the winter weather to do the rest  - more info here


Hi eddie, Wood ash is slightly alkaline so best not used near acid-loving plants such as the rhododendron family or blueberries.  As long as the ash is from burnt logs etc (ie not painted or wood treated with a preservative) then it can be used on the garden when sprinkled sparingly around and will provide some useful nutrients.  You can also add it to compost heaps but, again, don't create really thick layers and mix it in well.

Thank you for the info.

what if ive used fire lighters



I use my wood ash around the fruit trees and bushed in winter early spring but nor now - now it goes in the compost bin

Steve 309

Firelighters shouldn't be a problem as they burn completely.

I use wood ash for all fruits; the basicity counteracts (or so I fondly imagine) the acidity of the compost.

What about using it to make lye and thence soap?


It depends on the wood - if it's firewood logs it won't do any harm to use it as has been described above.  If it's constructional timber which has been treated or painted I wouldn't use it on the garden.

However, there's not a lot of benefit to be gained from using the ash of large logs - the most potash is produced by twiggy growth rather than heartwood. That is why the ash from a garden bonfire using old pea sticks, prunings etc is so useful. 

Steve 309

Yes - sodium hydroxide.  In  my lab days I used it occasionally and I'm well aware of the hazards; Never done it (yet) but I doubt if soaking wood ash in water produces anything like as high a concentration of NaOH as you get in the lab bottle.  Worth being careful though.  Thanks for the reminder

Sign up or log in to post a reply