Just before the rains earlier this week, i jumped off the toasty warm couch and put down a light top dressing of fertilizer and wood ash.

First, i checked the recommendations from my UMass soil test i sent in last summer, and adjusted amounts for the concentration of the fertilizer. I used Plant-tone organic 5-3-3, by Espoma, pretty mild stuff in general, given to me as a gift along with an apple tree- talk about an excellent gift! The soil test results called for some extra potassium, and because i have acidic soil (6.2-6.5), a little bit of ash wouldn’t raise the pH too high.  i’ve read that plants have maximum uptake of nutrients in slightly acidic soil, so i don’t want to add too much…

I decided on (per 50 sq ft of space) 4 pounds plant tone and 2 pounds wood ash.  Because the beds will be sitting for a few weeks to months, i sprinkled it on the top so the rain will water it in.  I put a proportional amount on the fruit trees as well (1 fig, 1 apple for now).  I added the Plant-tone, but not the ash, to the strawberry bed since they prefer quite acidic conditions.

Where did i get all that ash?  We heat the house with a wood stove, so we have plenty to go around!


About Ryan

Urban gardening at it's best (sometimes it's worst)! Adventures and learnings from going 100% lawn free in a D.C. row house.
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