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  • Charcoal?

    Had a great bonfire last week, ( old rotten wood), so now have a pile of charcoal, am a bit confused as to where to dispose of it, I always though fruit bushes benefited, but have been reading and now not sure?

    thanks for advice

  • #2
    When you say old rotten wood, what wood? I use wood from our log burner for fruit trees and garlic but that's kiln dried hardwood only. My allotment fires are a mix of all sorts, including rotten pallets, so I tend to just dispose of it in the bin when the fire pit is too full of ash. The wind yesterday was perfect (away from the near by houses) so I managed to dispose of an almighty pile of winter prunings, old pallets and multiple massive buildings bags full of ivy. Love a good fire for making the allotment look tidy.

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    • #3
      I think the key thing is did the wood have paint on it or preservative, if the answer is yes, then I wouldn't put it on edibles.
      If I'm not on here, I'm probably fishing.
      Gardening in the NE of Scotland

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      • #4
        No paint on it, all rotted, some were chestnut stakes from fruit cage, some decking boards and some ‘pruning s’ ( next year I’m going to put these in a sack at the time rather than just stick them in a pile)!

        it got so hot, the bottom of the incinerator has now dropped out!

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        • #5
          The old decking boards could have contaminants, but nowadays most of the wood treatments are wax based rather than oil based, so they might be ok.,
          If I'm not on here, I'm probably fishing.
          Gardening in the NE of Scotland

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          • #6
            I’m sure my dad used to put ashes around the blackcurrants? Is that still advised?

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            • #7
              If you think the wood was not treated with noxious chemicals, you can use ash pretty well anywhere. Tomatoes, aubergines and peppers like it (though not potatoes) because it's a good source of calcium as well as potassium. I've always found my onions like it too.
              Not potatoes, though, as it can cause scab apparently.
              Location: north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep. Last frost: usually mid-April, sometimes first week in May. First frost: mid-October.

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              • #8
                Is it actually charcoal, or ash?

                The ash is good for feeding plants, as said above, but charcoal is just carbon. It has no nutrient value, and what's more in my experience pieces of charcoal in the ground take ages to rot down.
                I would advise sifting out any actual charcoal, crushing it up, then adding it to your compost bin.

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