Can You Put Wood Ash Around a Tomato Plant?

Written by misty amber brighton
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Can You Put Wood Ash Around a Tomato Plant?
Organic tomatoes may benefit from wood ashes. (Andrew Dernie/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Homeowners with wood-burning fireplaces wonder how to dispose of the ashes. If you use firewood to heat your home, you may prepare a garden spot for planting tomatoes in the spring by sprinkling the area with this material.

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Ashes from burnt wood contain phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. These nutrients are essential to the production of healthy tomato plants and are often the main ingredients found in fertilisers. Ashes from hardwoods such as maple or oak may also be high in calcium, which is needed for cell division and growth.

Acidity

Wood ashes tend to reduce the acidity of the soil. Tomatoes prefer a soil that is slightly alkaline, so this material can be beneficial in balancing the pH level. You should sprinkle ashes on top of the ground, then mix thoroughly with a garden rake to evenly distribute them.

Companion Plants

Take care not to plant potatoes in the same location as your tomato plants if you plan to use wood ashes. Avoid planting rhododendrons or azaleas in the same area as your tomatoes as these flowers cannot thrive in alkaline soils. Fruit trees and deciduous shrubs may normally be planted near tomatoes and do not suffer any ill effects from wood ashes.

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