Spring is here and that means it is time for spring cleaning. After cleaning out your fireplace, you’ve probably got a nice pile of ash to dispose of. Before you just throw your ash out with the garbage, did you know that wood ash has a variety of useful characteristics? At Northeastern Masonry and Chimney, we want to share with you some of the useful things that we do with our fireplace ash!
Gardening and Lawn Care
There are a few ways that fireplace ash can be used to improve your garden and lawn. One of the most common ways fireplace ash is used is to enrich compost. Wood ash can add nutrients like lime and potassium to your compost mix. Fireplace ash is also alkaline, and can help lower the pH of slightly acidic decomposing compost materials, creating a more neutral environment for bacterial and microbial growth. However, if you are using your compost for acid-loving plants such as azaleas, blueberries, and rhododendrons, you may want to avoid adding fireplace ash to your compost. Fireplace ash can also give a boost to calcium-loving plants, such as tomatoes, lawn grass, and hardwood fruit trees. Just add a ¼ cup of ash in the hole when transplanting your plants or sprinkle ash across your lawn and around the base of your fruit trees.
Fireplace ash has also been known to help repel some garden and pond pests. Sprinkling a fine layer of firewood ash on your garden beds has been known to repel slugs and snails. Also, adding about a tablespoon of ash for every 1,000 gallons of water in your pond can help control algae growth by strengthening other plants that compete with it.
Fireplace ash can also be used for cleaning. Wet paint splatter on concrete can be soaked up by sprinkling fireplace ash on it and peeling it away once absorbed. You can also use a damp sponge dipped in ash to scrub away soot from your fireplace door. Another use of ash is to mix it with a little water forming a paste that makes a great silver tarnish.
If your dog has ever gotten into a tussle with a skunk, you know that it can quickly become an unpleasant situation for both you and your furry friend. However, rubbing a handful of firewood ash on your pet’s coat can help neutralize the skunky odor. Fireplace ash can also be used to melt ice. Not only does it help melt to melt the ice, it also adds traction and is safe for the health of your soil as well.
At Northeastern Masonry & Chimney, we think it’s important to cut down on waste. Recycling your ash is a great way to do this. If you are ready for a spring chimney cleaning, call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney at 518-767-9315 or visit us online and to schedule an appointment today!