wood ashes + logic = lesson

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.

Fast forward.

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.

wood ashes

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