Is wood ash rich enough to fertile your growing soil?
We all knew, wood ash is packed with macro and some micronutrients, but are they readily available for your cucumber plant to absorb?
Are there any downsides of using wood ash for cucumber plants?
Not just these, all your queries regarding wood ash and its use in vegetable garden will be answered with study reports.
Nutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and sulfur are packed in wood-ash.
But, do cucumbers like wood ash?
No, you shouldn’t add wood-ash to cucumber plant without testing soil pH.
Wood-ash consists of 25 percent of calcium carbonate which helps to increase alkalinity of the soil. Even small amount of wood ash will have liming affect on your cucumber growing soil.
Cucumber grows in mildly acidic soil with pH ranging between 5.5 to 7.0.
Adding wood-ash to cucumber plant may increase alkalinity of the soil, which is not ideal to grow cucumber plant.
Potential Downsides of Using Wood-ash for Cucumber Plant
Depending on the wood you burned, nutrients in the wood-ash may differ.
Similarly, some woods contain metals like cadmium and lead that can be toxic to your vegetable garden. (Source)
Apart from this, calcium carbonate in wood ash may increase soil pH, thus reducing cucumber plant ability to intake nutrients from the soil.
As mentioned, cucumber plant does well in mildly acidic to neutral soil.
Experts say it not be beneficial to use wood-ash for acid-loving plants.
Whenever you use wood-ash, you must soil test and confirm the pH.
Adding wood-ash to soil will help to get rid of chlorosis in plants.
If you use wood-ash for cucumber or potato plants, thinking to fertilize them, it will eventually result in disease.
Can I Use Wood-ash in My Vegetable Garden?
Most vegetable plants prefer acidic soil.
Adding wood-ash to your growing medium will not provide favourable conditions for the plant.
As mentioned, higher levels of pH can make your vegetable plant prone to diseases.
For instance, potatoes that are grown in higher soil pH are more likely affected with potato scab.
If you want to use wood-ash, then you can use it to enrich soils that like alkalinity.
Apart from this, you must get your soil tested to confirm it is safe to use wood-ash.
Also Read: How Tall Do Cucumber Plants Grow?
Type of Wood-ash Should I Use
As discussed earlier, wood you use will have impact on the nutrients in the obtained ash.
We have natural wood, industrial wood and treated wood.
But, if you’re planning to use wood-ash in your garden, then you must use wood-ash obtained from burning natural wood.
Avoid using industrial wood, as it may contain heavy metals that can damage the plant cell structure.
Ash obtained from plastic and garbage shouldn’t be used to fertilize gardening soil.
They may contain toxic elements like cadmium and lead that can kill your vegetable garden.
How to Use Wood-ash in your Garden?
You must use wood ash in your vegetable garden, only after certified soil test.
When you’re sure adding wood ash will treat the soil, then you can use it.
But, excess isn’t allowed.
Use referred amount of wood ash by experts.
Spread the wood-ash evenly over raised bed. Avoid windy season, as fine particles of wood ash may be blown away.
Using a spade, work the ash into the soil.
Don’t over use it.
Also Read: Is Epsom Salt Good for Cucumbers?
Is Wood Ash Good for Cucumbers?
Though mentioned, wood ash contains nutrients that are essential for plant growth. It also has calcium carbonate that increases soil pH.
And to grow cucumber successfully, you must provide mildly acidic soil.
Can I Add Wood Ash to My Compost?
As a gardener, you must prepare your own compost bin in garden corner.
Yes, you can add wood-ash to compost heap.
But, excess amount can kill bacteria that are helping you to decompose the compost.
Remember that it makes the compost alkaline.
If you’re using compost to fertilize vegetable garden, ensure to soil test before adding the compost.
Also Read: Is Bone Meal Good for Cucumber Plants?
Wood ash can be a substitute for lime
It is easy to grow cucumber, as it is tolerant towards different soil types.
Mildly acidic to neutral is ideal to grow cucumber plants.
Before planting cucumber, you must conduct a soil test to confirm soil pH.
If you find the need to increase soil pH and make it mildly acidic or neutral, then you can add little bit of wood ash.
Just spread wood ash around the plant and work into the soil.
Must Read: Are Eggshells Good for Cucumbers?
Cucumber Plant Growing Tips
Along with ideal soil pH, to produce quality cucumber yield you must ensure to provide well-drained soil with lots of organic matter.
Vegetable plants like cucumber must be fertilized regularly to produce yield, grow leaves and to strengthen its roots.
Cucumber plant does well under full sun with warmer temperature.
Avoid temperatures below 50F. This plant can’t tolerate frost.
Regular watering, adequate sunlight, well-drained soil and fertilizing during growing season will help to produce quality yield.
While watering you must avoid excess watering, as cucumber plant don’t like to stand in water logged soil.
Underwatering and overwatering, both aren’t good for your plant.
Regularly, check your plant for pests, disease or infestation.
Related: How Deep Do Cucumber Roots Grow?
Adding wood ash will increase alkalinity of the potting soil.
Cucumber plant needs mildly acidic to neutral soil to grow.
Heavy metals in wood ash can are toxic to your vegetable plants.
You can apply wood ash to your garden, only after proper soil test. Excess use of wood-ash will damage the plant’s cell structure and may results in discoloured leaves.