I’ve heated with the same wood stove for as long as I’ve gardened. Each piece of dead wood from the property warms many times; when it’s cut, when it’s hauled, when it’s split, when it’s stacked and when it’s burned.
So let’s get more out of each piece, I reason. Trees pull nutrients from the ground, and burning must concentrate those goodies in the ashes. Concentrated nutrition for the garden? Awesome. Dump it on.
Soil test a few years later. I talk to the extension agent about why my soil is so alkaline.
Yep. You guessed it.
I learned a few of the best lessons of my gardening career: assumption can be arrogance, nature loves balance, and too many wood ashes can jangle your soil’s pH for years.