Here in New Jersey we are getting closer and closer to vegetable gardening season. While many are starting their seeds indoors right now (me included), when I say vegetable gardening season is closer, I mean working outdoors.
The ground here is still a little too “frozen” to do anything, and we actually still have loads of snow still sitting around. I am guessing over the course of the next couple of days of warmer weather we are supposed to have, both issues, will be solved.
While I wait for that though, I thought having a nice outdoor fire would be a good thing to warm the spirits. And as luck would have it, I can still relate a warm cozy fire with vegetable gardening. You see when that fire is “done”, I can use the wood ash in my compost pile or mix it into my garden soil.
“Wood ash can be useful in home gardens, in your compost pile or as a pest repellent, explained Dan Sullivan, soil scientist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.” (src: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/wood-ash-can-be-useful-yard-if-used-caution)
Wood ash contains a boatload of nutrients that can be amended to your soil beyond the source of lime, and potassium. Keep in mind, that while wood ash is great for your soil, coal ash is terrible. Avoid ash derived from coal at all costs.
So, if you are like me and are waiting for this polar vortex winter to end, light a fire, burn a few logs, and then use that leftover ash in your garden.
P.S. Ok I know my outdoor fireplace is a bit beat up ... but we love it ... for $60, and 10 years later, it has held up nicely :)