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Is Paper Ash Good For The Garden?

Did you know ash from your backyard fire pit could prove to be helpful?

Ash contains about 25% Calcium Carbonate, which is also known as pure lime. 

That means you can use it as a substitute for lime fertilizers in your garden.

You can also use it to increase your soil pH levels making it more alkaline.

However, before you whiz through, you need to first determine if your soil really needs it.

Here we will be specifically discussing the use of paper ash in your garden and whether it’s safe to use on your plants. 

What Is The Composition Of Paper Ash? 

Paper-ash-for-garden

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The primary chemical component of paper ash is carbon with varying amounts of elements such as Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, and Phosphorus.

However, if your paper had ink and incense, it’s most likely that it contains other chemicals, making it toxic for your plants.

Past research has given credence to the fact that paper ash has the same chemical composition as cement.

However, the two compounds differ significantly in their mineral composition. 

Is Paper Ash A Good Fertilizer? 

We wouldn’t rate paper ash as an excellent fertilizer to your soil simply because it doesn’t add significant nutrients to the soil.

It lacks nutrients from the original wood. You are likely to feel its effect if you intend to increase the pH levels of your soil.

If this is the main reason for its use, you could add it directly to your bed.

Avoid its application on a windy day since it’s flakier than wood ash and blows away quickly.

You will also need to sandwich it between the topsoil and bottom soil for the same reason. 

As a precaution, avoid using any ash on acidic soil-loving plants. This is because the pH levels of your soil will increase, interfering with nutrient uptake and the overall growth of these plants.

Some of these plants include berries, azaleas, rhododendrons, parsley, roses, and potatoes, to mention a few.

Cardboard-fertlizer

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The best use of paper ash as a fertilizer would be to combine it with other nitrogen-rich materials.  Apart from adding nutrients to the soil, this mix will also improve the soil structure.

Interestingly an excellent substitute for paper ash is cardboard since it’s made from the hardwood section of the tree that carries most nutrients.

But again, it is still unable to meet the nutritional requirements of your plants on its own.  

Other Uses Of Paper Ash In Your Garden 

Besides benefiting your plants, paper ash can have several other beneficial uses in your garden.  In this section, we highlight some of these uses.

1. Stain Cleaner 

Remove-stains-with-ash

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You could use paper ash as an alternative to wood ash to clean stains on your driveway. Pour some of it on top of the stain and allow it to sit for several hours before sweeping it off with a broom. 

2. Add To Compost 

Compost

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Adding paper ash to compost helps recycle waste and also gets rid of foul odor through moisture absorption. 

3. Repels Snails And Slugs 

Repel-snails-using-ash

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Ash has a repellent effect on snails and slugs. You could use paper ash in sections of your garden that are infested with these pesky pests. 

4. Ant Deterrent 

Ant-hill

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If you have an infestation of ants in your garden, paper ash could also prove handy in getting rid of them. Sprinkle a layer of ash on the anthills to deter them.  

5. Useful For Cleaning Soot 

Wood-ash paste is used for cleaning soot from fireplaces. You could improvise and use paper ash mixed with water as a mild abrasive to keep your glassware and utensils sparkling. 

6. Controls Pond Algae 

Pond-algae

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Micronutrients in paper ash help encourage the growth of aquatic plants. An essential micronutrient that promotes the development of rooted pond plants is potassium.

It makes rooted aquatic plants strong enough to compete with algae. 

Wrap Up 

Paper ash is a chemical compound containing carbon and a range of other elements such as Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, and Phosphorus.

You could use it as a pH manipulator on your bed or garden, provided it has no toxic chemicals like incense or ink.

If you are unsure of your paper ingredients, it’s best to avoid its use and go for its alternative -wood ash.

Moreover, avoid using it on acidic soil-loving plants like azaleas and berries.

Paper ash also has a myriad of other uses in your yard, as mentioned above. 

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