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Charcoal ash water useful in garden???

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Charcoal ash water useful in garden???

Post  vjam5555 on 8/4/2011, 8:29 pm

Hi Everyone...

Here's my situation...couple of weeks ago, grilled outside with charcoal. I put the cold ashes in a bucket and promptly forgot about them. Of course, it rained. And has rained pretty much every day all month (now into Aug - no complaints there!) The bucket is now filled with water...and ashes...and is smelling like all get-out. Is this ashy water safe to use to water the veggies? I think I'm still in water miser mode...hate to dump the water if it's beneficial to the plants. OR...the compost pile... Your thoughts and/or experiences?

Thanks!
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Re: Charcoal ash water useful in garden???

Post  Chopper on 8/4/2011, 8:49 pm

My first thought would be the compost pile. I would guess, with nothing more than vague science memories, that it might be a tad too alkaline to pour directly on the plants. But I believe the ash still contains useful minerals. So my vote: compost pile.

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Re: Charcoal ash water useful in garden???

Post  boffer on 8/4/2011, 8:50 pm

Charcoal briquette ashes are not safe to use around vegetable plants because there are too many chemicals used in their production.

Lump charcoal ashes are safe because lump is just partially burned hardwood.
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Re: Charcoal ash water useful in garden???

Post  Chopper on 8/4/2011, 8:53 pm

Thank you boffer. I guess instead of using vague science memories I should leave it to people who have a clue! LOL. Good info. Very Happy

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Re: Charcoal ash water useful in garden???

Post  vjam5555 on 8/4/2011, 9:00 pm

Whew! That was a close call...I started to use it but thought better of it. Didn't even consider chemicals in them... Shocked Thanks so much Boffer and Chopper!
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Re: Charcoal ash water useful in garden???

Post  boffer on 8/4/2011, 9:01 pm

Here's a little more info

Well, according to Kingsford, here is what is in their briquettes and what each ingredient is used for: wood char (heat source), mineral char (heat source), mineral carbon (heat source), limestone (uniform visual ashing), starch (binder), borax (press release), sodium nitrate (ignition aid), sawdust (ignition aid). If you hang out on any of the barbecue forums on the internet, you will find lots of folks complaining about the borax and coal and limestone. You don't often hear of people complaining about the mineral char. What is mineral char? "A soft, brownish-black coal in which the alteration of vegetable matter has proceeded further than in peat but not as far as in bituminous coal. Also called brown coal. Has empyreumatic smell." What is an empyreumatic smell? "The peculiar smell and taste arising from products of decomposition of animal or vegetable substances when burnt in close vessels."

And that's from a manufacturer; there's no telling what they left out. Everything I've read has said no-no.
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