For those who are always on the lookout for new and innovative ways that they can maintain and nourish their lawn, there is quite a high chance that they have heard good things about the benefits that ash, wood ash, in particular, can do for their lawn.
In general, yes, wood ashes are great for your lawn and will help it to thrive and bring out its true beauty. But just like with any good thing, it is best used in moderation. Overusing ash on your lawn will actually cause many issues and even pose the threat of killing your grass!
But there is a possibility that ashes are not good for all types of grass. To learn more about what makes ashes such a great fertilizer and tool for keeping your lawn thriving and fresh, and whether or not they are the right choice for your particular grass type and lawn, continue reading.
Spreading the Ashes
Grass and What It Needs
Grass comes in many different varieties, and each one has its own unique needs and preferred growing conditions. The question lies as to whether or not ashes can truly benefit all grass types.
As with any plant, nutrients are required by grass in order for it to thrive and grow to its full potential. The assumption that grass can grow in any condition and in any form of soil is not actually correct.
Just like any other plant, grass has preferred conditions and needs that need to be met in order for it to thrive and grow properly. If you want to see your grass looking beautiful and doing its best, then make sure that it is in the right environment!
Some may also think that grasses all grow in the exact same variant of soil and that any species of grass can thrive in that same type of soil. This is also incorrect and could be the cause for why your grass is not growing very well.
While grass is robust and can tolerate quite a few different types of soils, it is not a miracle plant and does still require preferential treatment in order for you to get the best out of it. Some grasses have their own unique ways of being grown and require their soil to be a certain way.
Grasses that can Benefit from Ashes
Following are some of the types of grass that would love to have some ashes added to their soil. Adding ashes, particularly wood ashes, to the soil of these grasses will ensure that they are getting the best nutrients that they need to thrive and grow strong.
The reason that these grasses will do so well after having ashes added to their soil is the fact that they desire alkaline-rich soil. Adding ashes to the soil around this type of grass ensures that the pH balance of the soil is raised due to them being alkaline.
You will need to check the pH of the soil and see where it currently lies, and then you can raise it to the desired level by adding wood ashes to the area.
Just ensure that you do not add too much ash to the soil or else your grass can possibly die. Too much of a good thing stops being a good thing, and adding too much ash to the soil is a perfect example of this.
Perennial Rye, Fine Fescue, Tall Fescue, Bermuda, and St. Augustine are all types of grass that would love a bit of ash added to their soil.
The first three types of grass mentioned desire their pH to sit right around 5.5 to 7.5. Bermuda likes having its pH around 6.5 to 7.0, and St. Augustine at 5.0 to 8.5.
St. Augustine is actually one of the most versatile grasses as it has quite a wide range of soil pH that it can survive in, so if you are looking for a grass type to add ashes to then this is a great choice.
Grass not to add Ashes to
While there are many types of grasses that desire to have ashes added to their soil in order to raise the pH, there are also other varieties that do not want or need to have any ashes added to their soil.
While not all of these types of grasses will actually suffer from having ashes added to them, they also may not see any added benefits to having ashes added. Other grasses included here will find that their soil becomes too alkaline for them to survive.
Though if you find that the soil you are starting out with is already quite acidic, then adding wood ashes could indeed be good. Before grass is placed down you can add wood ashes to bring the soil into acceptable levels for these types of grasses, as they love acidic soil.
Just do not add more wood ashes after they have been planted down, as it may cause undesired issues with these grasses or come with no outcome at all and in turn waste your hard-earned money and time.
Bentgrass, Bluegrass, Bahia, Centipede, and Hosia grass all will generally not benefit from having ashes added to your lawn. Bahia sits with the lowest pH of 4.0 and Bentgrass with the highest at 6.8.
How to Apply Ashe to your Lawn
If you desire to apply ash to your lawn to reap the benefits that it poses, then you can perform a few simple steps. Start out with finding out how much ash you need. This is generally between 5 and 25 pounds for 1000 square feet.
Measure the pH of the soil to get an exact number and see how much you need, and then decide how much you need. After this, simply spread the soil throughout your lawn and then test the soil again afterward.
The best time to apply ashes to your lawn is in the fall, as it gives the ashes ample time to spread and get down deep into the soil. By the time Spring rolls around the nutrients will have spread and been absorbed into the soil well enough to benefit your lawn.
In general, wood ashes are great for your lawn depending on what type of grass you have. Take the time to check what species of grass lies in your lawn and then see if you need to adjust the pH levels of the grass to help it thrive.
Always keep in mind that you do not want to add to much ash, even if your grass is one of the species which loves it, as it could cause the grass to die off. Moderation is key in order to get the best out of your lawn.