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Soil Amendments

Q.Why do you make a blanket statement telling people to put wood ash in their gardens?

Zone 68132 | Anonymous added on January 13, 2020 | Answered

I am a retired Extension Horticulturist in eastern Nebraska. Typical soils in gardens in our area are 8. (Farms are a different matter as the fertilizers they use acidify the soils.) We have a big problem with chlorosis of trees because the high pH binds nutrients to the soils. When I was working (and my colleagues who still work) I would get tired of telling people not to spread fireplace ashes in their gardens, and don’t lime their yards just because some professional on TV from the East Coast said to do so. Always advise people to take a soil test before doing any type of ammending to the soil. (P.S. the water coming out of our taps in Omaha has a pH of 9.)

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on January 14, 2020

You make a valid point to always do a soil test before amending the soil, such as when applying fireplace ashes. We will pass the comment on to the editors.

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