If you’re over sweeping out and throwing away the wood ash that builds up in your fireplace, check out all these fascinating things you can do with it.

  1. Give it to the birds! Many birds take dust baths because it controls bugs, so leave a pile of ashes somewhere that the birds will find it.
  2. Deter garden pests. Slugs and snails hate ash, so sprinkle it around your favourite plants.
  3. Make your lawn happy. Grass loves wood ash because it contains calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. And you’ll love it because it’s free!
  4. Feed your fruit and vegetables. Tomatoes, carrots, apples, pears and most berries love a sprinkle of wood ash. Among many other benefits, the potassium regulates their water balance, keeping them firm and juicy. Having enough potassium also makes plants more resilient to drought, frost and diseases. Just keep it away from your acid-loving plants like blueberries, pecans and sweet potatoes.
  5. Banish algae. If you have any algae in ponds or water features, you can add the smallest amount to get rid of it – just one tablespoon for every 1,000 gallons.
  6. Destroy moss. If you have a moss problem in your lawn, dust the ash over all of it. While the grass will appreciate the extra nutrients, the moss should die.
  7. Take it inside the home. Ash can be utilised to make a great cleaning agent by mixing it with enough water to form a paste. The mixture is abrasive so it will clean the glass in your stove or fireplace, remove water stains from glasses left on wood and can polish your silverware.
  8. De-freeze your driveway. The alkaline nature of ash means that it helps to melt ice. Plus, its dark colour attracts more heat from the sun.