Wood ash vs lime

Steve in VA

Well-known Member
There appears to be no way to get lime from any quarry anywhere. So, there is a chance for wood ash that is said to be effective at twice the application rate for lime.

Can anyone offer any experience/advice on the use of wood ash vs lime for hay fields?

TIA
 
Local water treatment has a lime slurry they have available sometimes for disposable.
Supposed to be more effective and faster acting than lime.
 
There appears to be no way to get lime from any quarry anywhere. So, there is a chance for wood ash that is said to be effective at twice the application rate for lime.

Can anyone offer any experience/advice on the use of wood ash vs lime for hay fields?

TIA
Everything I have read suggests that wood ash is generally good. However, there are some warnings about the possibility of wood ash containing heavy metals.


I've known some folks who have used wood ash on their gardens for decades, but am not familiar with anyone who had a source for enough wood ash to use on large fields.
 
Everything I have read suggests that wood ash is generally good. However, there are some warnings about the possibility of wood ash containing heavy metals.


I've known some folks who have used wood ash on their gardens for decades, but am not familiar with anyone who had a source for enough wood ash to use on large fields.
You put your finger on my biggest concern. What is the source of 20 tons of wood ash. I'm comfortable with ash that originates in my fireplace or shove but have serious questions.
Thank you.
 
Biomass power plants are a likely source. I think they call it "fly ash". might be some potash fertilizer value in it as well

Dominion had some plants, not sure how close to them you are.
 
There appears to be no way to get lime from any quarry anywhere. So, there is a chance for wood ash that is said to be effective at twice the application rate for lime.

Can anyone offer any experience/advice on the use of wood ash vs lime for hay fields?

TIA
I remember back when the barn burned, they told Dad to spread the ashes because they contained potash. Never heard that they raised pH.
 
Thanks for posting ,interesting. I’ll look in my tradional farming written in 1915 to see ,I think there something on this , I’ll post the documentation if I find it.
 
Thanks for posting ,interesting. I’ll look in my tradional farming written in 1915 to see ,I think there something on this , I’ll post the documentation if I find it.
There appears to be no way to get lime from any quarry anywhere. So, there is a chance for wood ash that is said to be effective at twice the application rate for lime.

Can anyone offer any experience/advice on the use of wood ash vs lime for hay fields?

TIA
Starts page 113 ,probably at availabe at public library , this page 119 , best can do with pictures,
 

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There appears to be no way to get lime from any quarry anywhere. So, there is a chance for wood ash that is said to be effective at twice the application rate for lime.

Can anyone offer any experience/advice on the use of wood ash vs lime for hay fields?

TIA
I’ve been following your dilemma. I can’t comment on the wood ash, but can’t believe how hard it is to get lime in your area. I’m not saying I doubt you, just boy is that unfortunate. Best way I could put it without sounding vulgar. Sure hope you get it figured out.
 
There must be somethin I'm missing. There may not be a lime quarry local to you, but it's most certainly available. At the very least, pelletized lime is easily found at nearly any farm store. The idea of adding enough wood ash to hay fields to raise the pH is bizarre. To get enough ash down to make a difference, it will completely cover the ground, killing most of the existing vegetation. I can't imagine the mess after one small rain, or a good stiff wind.
 
There must be somethin I'm missing. There may not be a lime quarry local to you, but it's most certainly available. At the very least, pelletized lime is easily found at nearly any farm store. The idea of adding enough wood ash to hay fields to raise the pH is bizarre. To get enough ash down to make a difference, it will completely cover the ground, killing most of the existing vegetation. I can't imagine the mess after one small rain, or a good stiff wind.
Every quarry that even hints at having lime tells me they sell out to BTOs as soon as they make it. I've searched as far as 100 miles out. Most quarries locally have all the business they want making gravel for construction. I've dealt with 2 farm CoOps going out 55 miles. No joy. The only conclusion I reach is that 15-20 tons isn't worth their time.
 
There must be somethin I'm missing. There may not be a lime quarry local to you, but it's most certainly available. At the very least, pelletized lime is easily found at nearly any farm store. The idea of adding enough wood ash to hay fields to raise the pH is bizarre. To get enough ash down to make a difference, it will completely cover the ground, killing most of the existing vegetation. I can't imagine the mess after one small rain, or a good stiff wind.
I agree with you on the wood ash but pellet lime isn't to be found at any farm stores except in 50 pind bags at 5 -6 $/bag and then it needs to be handled. Crazy, huh?
 
I thought someone posted this ,but I’m missing it.
What do you think about gypsum?
If I remember a presenting at Ohio state on cover crop they were recommending gypsum because it will be perme deeply below surface and last . they mention lime stays on surfaces and harden encrusted the soil. Water would wash it away while gypsum soak in .
check if recommending that in your area.
just suggestion
 
I thought someone posted this ,but I’m missing it.
What do you think about gypsum?
If I remember a presenting at Ohio state on cover crop they were recommending gypsum because it will be perme deeply below surface and last . they mention lime stays on surfaces and harden encrusted the soil. Water would wash it away while gypsum soak in .
check if recommending that in your area.
just suggestion
I take regular soil samples for analysis and they have not mentioned gypsum. I was of the impression that gypsum would address soil compaction but confess I've not heard of it to adjust pH. I'll check it out.
 
Might be worth trying the liquid lime products? Their effect doesn't last quite as long as screenings but they do sure change the pH in a hurry. They cost a fair bit, but I think that's going to be the case whatever you do.

But, in your earlier post you said there was a quarry 2-3 hours away that has lime. Is that still the case? Trucking's not cheap, and it would be nice if it were closer. But that's probably about as far as many of us have it trucked. I'm lucky in that there's a quarry about an hour South of me, but I know guys a couple hours North of me that use the same quarry, so they're paying for 6 hours of trucking with each load. You usually have to pay higher rates to convince truckers to do single loads for someone they don't work with a lot, but unfortunately that just seems to be the way it is.

I'd be surprised if you'll find large producers of wood ash that will be able to provide it. The biggest producers I can think of are sawmills and pulp mills that burn waste in their co-gen/boiler plants. You might try looking up some of the major mills in your neck of the woods. But even that might present some problems: The one mill I know of that does that has to follow some strict regulations about how they dispose of their byproducts. And they don't produce as much ash as you'd think, because they run a wood gasification plant, not conventional burning. They also probably have a ready-made schedule/system for getting rid of ash in bulk and might not be too keen to deal with a few tons here and there to the odd person.

You might also run into the same concern you get when using sawdust to build organic matter: Lots of good stuff in them, but no nitrogen. And not only is it low in N, but it ties up available nitrogen as it's breaking down. So you may have to go heavier on the N application in your fertilizer if using a wood byproduct. But that's just a guess: I don't know for sure that ash would cause the same concerns as sawdust.

Liquid lime that folks around here use: https://agro-100.ca/en/product/kalime/
 

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