Using Ashes in the Garden

Using Ash in the Garden

Winter in the garden is a place I’d rather not visit, especially after a cold front.  When temperatures in the teens hit earlier in December I watched many of the plants wither away.  Pine, cedar and leafs fell in gallons and all I could see was a major clean up developing.

Normally I use this type of debris to establish new raised beds but since there’s no plan to expand the garden I decided to clip and burn.

Clean up began in the backyard where the fire pit was filled with natural material turning to ashes in minutes.  After two afternoons I ended in the garden where the mess was overwhelming.

For a moment I was stunned and at times caught myself thinking about the garden when it was decorated in beautiful shades of green.  I wasn’t sure where to begin so I started with the herb bed.

Cypress was everywhere and I’ve discovered it smells great fresh, dried and even when it’s burning.  So I racked up the mess and began clipping back perennials realizing that winter is a great time to maintain the garden a little here and there.

The peppermint was also wasted; as I trimmed it to the base I started thinking, we’re a lot like plants we have our highs and lows; sometimes we just need a rest.  That’s what winter is really all about, a time to rest and plan ahead.

At this point positive thoughts energized my attitude, I was feeling inspired because this little effort was actually helping bring back plant life even though all the green was no longer present.

This wasn’t a new concept it just felt pretty amazing to be reminded.

Burning continued in the garden and so did the clipping.  When the ashes cooled they were moved to resting beds where later next week sheep, llama and chicken fertilizer will be included.

Burning debris is an old fashioned method from a time when nothing was wasted. If you’re looking at a messy garden and burning is an option make sure to use some type of pit suitable for burning.  A simple burn barrel would work just fine. Wood ashes from interior fire places can also be used in the garden.

This plant was hit pretty hard, some may look at it and say it’s gone just dig it up and let it go.  Well I know better because after trimming I found a surprise.

Lots of new green life shooting through the mix appeared, I call this hope.  It’s moments like these when I’m reminded that defeat just isn’t welcome in my vocabulary. It wasn’t long after this when I realized that cleaning up the garden was full of wisdom that inspired positive thinking.

The ashes were moved to resting containers where they’ll be covered with additional elements in a couple weeks. Using ashes in the garden is an opportunity to recycle natural waste; you can add them directly to resting beds or compost bins.

Remember only use ashes for the garden from natural materials such as wood or plant debris and always add to resting beds where no plants are growing.   This is a simple thing that makes winter clean up a little easier.

Discover how using ash in the garden can be a good thing.

 

11 comments

  1. Patti says:

    Happy New Year Carole!
    Good point about ashes. I usually throw ours in the same place where I throw all my clippings. Not sure if I can call it a compost pile though. 😉 I also love throwing dried herbs and scented foliage clippings on the fire for kindling and they smell great too.

    1. Carole says:

      Wishing you a Happy New Year too Patti. All herb my trimmings went into the fire too and I have to say it smelled pretty fantastic.

  2. Karen says:

    I just love how the tried and true methods that have been around for generations are simple and effective. You’re so wise to adjust your methods based on your current situation, and this one was just perfect, wasn’t it?
    I’m already eager to get the spring growing plans underway. The big bites me at this time every single year.
    Happy New Year, Carole! I can’t wait to see how this new year unfolds for you.

    1. Carole says:

      Simplistic gardening that’s all you’ll find here, I never understood the idea of complicating things. Wishing you a Happy New year too – so far the year is off to a great start. I may have some exciting news in a few weeks.

  3. Sherry Legan says:

    Great informative post. The tools post was also really good too. Thanks for your email newsletters.
    I’d like to invite you to come over and share this and all your wonderful informational posts at The Fabulous January Party.
    It’s all about Tidying Up and making plans for the New Year.
    When you link and follow and sign up for emails you’ll be entered in a Giveaway too!
    Come and join the fun!

    http://ourholidayjourney.blogspot.com/2017/01/january-fabulous-tidy-up-link-party.html
    Happy New Year

    1. Carole says:

      Thanks for the Invite Sherry – I’m slowly getting back into a routine and will make a note to stop by. Happy New Year and thank you for subscribing!

  4. Jane says:

    Happy New Year Carole!

    Your posts are always full of info! I’m slowly getting back into the routine and I believe that is why we have seasons. We need rest from certain things like the plants…Lol! I hope you enjoyed the holidays, xo

    1. Carole says:

      We did enjoy the holiday and Happy New Year to you too!! I’m already back into my exercise routine which is great; I actually missed it. Seasons are great I believe they help keep us on track and remind us when to rest and speed up. Thanks for stopping by always nice to hear from you.

  5. Great idea!
    Thanks for sharing at Simple Homestead Hop!

  6. Tracy Lynn says:

    Hi Carole,

    I always get excited when I see your post at the Simple Homestead Hop because they are always the BEST! I always tell hubby to stop wasting ashes, and finally last year he listened to me and put them in our compost heap and in my garden. What a difference it made!

    PS…love your garden sign 🙂

    1. Carole says:

      Thank you Tracy, What a nice compliment. Ashes are pretty sweet in the garden and a great way to clean up.

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