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It's good to sit by the Russian stove and look at the hot flame. Fiery tongues hug gurgling cast-iron gaily and slowly cut logs, leaving behind them smoldering embers and a bunch of ashes. Before the new kindling, the cooled ash is collected by a scoop and thrown into the backyard. Occasionally a diligent host scattered the ashes in autumn in beds and under plantations, but the area of its application is much wider. We will find out where else ash is used, what kinds it is and what substances it contains.
Types of ash and chemical composition
You can burn everything that burns, and at the same time get ashes. But not all the ashes will be useful. Therefore, usually considered 3 of its kind:
The ash obtained from the burning of firewood, plant remains (dried stems of various plants) and coal (stone and brown), is characterized by the content of trace elements. Differences are clearly presented in the tables:
As can be seen from the tables, the basis of ash consists of 3 chemical elements - potassium, phosphorus and calcium. The composition of the ash determines the area of its application.
Spheres of application of wood ash
Most often, wood ash is used, as a record holder for the content of useful minerals. The chemical composition of wood ash allows it to be used in the following industries:
- chemical industry;
- personal household plots.
The most valuable property of ash - high pH - causes its use as a natural antiseptic and a means that reduces the acidity of soils. On these two factors, practically all spheres of application of wood ash are based.
Ash is the first fertilizer known to people from the Neolithic period. On its action, slash-and-burn farming was established, when the forest was burned, then this place was plowed and planted.
How to use ash as a fertilizer in agriculture and gardening
Wood ash is a good fertilizer for acidic and neutral soils. In addition to potassium and phosphorus, calcium, zinc, sulfur, magnesium and iron are easily digestible for plants. At the same time, unlike chemical fertilizers, ash does not contain chlorine, so it is fertilized with such crops as potatoes, currants, strawberries, raspberries.
Cabbage of all kinds this gift of nature will protect from the keel and black leg. It is useful to make it for cucumbers, squash, pumpkin and squash. When planting seedlings in the hole, add 1-2 tablespoons. During the autumn digging of beds per 1 sq. Km. m scatter one glass each.
Nightshades are also responsive to fertilization with wood ash. For tomatoes, potatoes, sweet peppers and eggplants, add 3 tablespoons or 3 glasses per square meter of beds.
Mandatory use of ashes in gardening. It is added to the planting pits and once in 3-4 years they are scattered into the trunks under the cherry, plum, black currant. This is done like this: along the perimeter of the crone, dig a groove for half a shovel of the shovel deep, pour in the ash or pour in the ash solution and equate with rakes. Adult tree consumes about 2 kg of fertilizer. Liquid ash fertilizer is obtained by adding 2 glasses of ash to 10 liters of water. The solution is mixed, insisted and poured into grooves. Under cucumbers, cabbage, tomatoes are brought in half a liter under the plant. The unbroken residue is distributed along the tricklebar or thrown into the compost.
On heavy clayey and acidified soils, ash is applied twice a year - in spring and autumn, on light sandy loams - only in the spring.
When introducing ash, the acid-base balance of the soil should be taken into account. A normal indicator is pH7, a lower figure indicates acidic, and a high figure indicates alkaline.
The acidity of the soil is measured with a litmus test paper, lowering it into the aqueous extract of the soil mixture. Then the resulting color is compared with the color scale. It should be noted that in strongly acidified or vice versa, alkaline soils, the basic mineral substances are inaccessible to plants. Therefore, the crops will grow poorly even when applying excess fertilizers. First, you need to bring the acidity to normal, and then make any fertilizer. The ash introduced into the soil acts slowly for several years, therefore it is necessary to regularly measure the soil parameters and regulate the application rates.
How to deal with pests and plant diseases with ash
Wood ash is useful not only as a fertilizer. Sole-soap solution is an extremely cheap, effective and absolutely safe tool for combating garden pests. It is prepared as follows:
- 300 g of sifted ash pour boiling water and boil for half an hour;
- filter and pour into a bucket of water;
- 50 g of laundry soap is added for better adhesion.
Spraying is carried out in the evening, in dry weather, trying to get on both sides of the leaves. The product is effective against all sucking insects - aphids, fleas, ticks and others.
Treatment with an ash-soap solution does not harm plants and flying useful insects, so it can be carried out often. If you add tobacco dust to this solution, the infusion will help deter the Colorado beetle and its larvae from planting potatoes.
With a mixture of sifted ash and tobacco dust, plant the onions with the onion fly, cabbage from the cruciferous flea.
The infusion of wood ash protects the black currant and gooseberry from the sawfly larvae, fire, aphids and powdery mildews. To prepare a half-liter jar of ash poured into a bucket of hot water and insist two days.
To protect cabbage from fleas, strawberries from slugs help to powder the beds with dry ash.
How to fertilize indoor plants with ashes
Ash is an excellent fertilizer and for indoor flowers. During the spring transplant, it is added to the soil in the amount of 2 tablespoons per 1 kg of earth mix. Especially well respond to such supplements geranium, cyclamen, fuchsia.
Effective ash infusions for large plants, which are not transplanted every year. The infusion is prepared as follows: 3 tablespoons of sifted ashes are diluted in 1 liter of water and insisted for a week, from time to time mixing. For top dressing of house colors, up to 100 ml of funds are used for a pot with a capacity of 1 liter.
When the flowers are damaged by thrips or midge, the surface of the soil is effectively dusted. Simultaneously reduce watering and apply glue traps. This set of measures helps quickly and safely get rid of pests.
Ashes in the diet of cats
Many fans of cats, reading the composition of pet food, wondered - and why does it contain ash? The fact is that the mineral elements that are in it are equally necessary for both plants and animals. Therefore, the ash in the cat food allows them to resume their supplies. Microelements are needed for normal growth of hair, strengthening bones and teeth, they are involved in digestion and metabolism. If your pet is constantly trying to gnaw inedible objects, treat it with food containing ash. With caution, you need to give such food to cats with urolithiasis. For sick animals, one should choose a diet based on natural products.
How to use ashes in everyday life
Ash of any kind is effective when used in country and country toilets. To suppress pathogens and destroy odors, they are poured into the contents. Later, the ash mixed with the fecal masses quickly decomposes in compost piles, not acidifying them.
With the help of ash and peat it is not difficult to arrange a homemade toilet. To do this, after using the device, the contents are covered with a portion of these natural antiseptics.
Where coal ash is used
Coal ash is produced by burning brown or coal. In its composition it differs from wood. The products of coal combustion contain a small amount of useful substances. In addition, these substances in coal ash are present in a form hard to reach for plants - in the form of silicates. Therefore, as a fertilizer, coal ash is practically not used. But in the soil it still makes. Coal ash contains a large amount of silicon oxides, so it is used for drying and loosening heavy wet clay soils. This measure improves soil structure, increases its air permeability.
It is not recommended to use coal fertilizer on sandy and acidic soils, as the high content of sulfur in it promotes even more acidification.
Combustion products of coal must be combined with ammonia, organic and calcium-containing fertilizers.
The coal ash is recommended to be applied to crops that actively consume sulfur. These include cabbage and onions of all kinds, mustard, garlic, legumes, radish, horseradish, rutabaga.
The ash of brown coal, unlike that of coal, is rich in trace elements and does not increase the acidity of soils. It is used to saturate the soil with such rare trace elements as boron, manganese, zinc, copper, molybdenum. They contribute to higher yields. Crumb of brown coal contains a small amount of gluminic acids and is a raw material for the production of glutamates - substances with high physiological activity. Glumates increase the agrochemical properties of the soil and prevent the elution of useful elements.
Products of brown coal processing are used in the compilation of an earth mixture for tomatoes and cucumbers.
Keep any type of ash in a tightly closed container in a dry place. When moisture hits, its benefits are sharply reduced.
If the norms and terms of application of ash are observed, the agrochemical properties of the soil significantly increase, helps in solving domestic issues and remains at the same time completely free and safe natural means.