When mixed with other components in the compost heap, the resulting alkaline compost can be used as a mulch around most ornamental plants and vegetables unless, like raspberries, rhododendrons and roses, they require an acidic soil.
As we have had the occasional good weather days we decided to clear the ash from the bonfire site as well that had built up over the last year. We had been careful not to put anything "contaminated" on it - just woody cuttings and pesky dandelion roots etc. Using a home built sieve we filled two wheelbarrow loads which has gone on some of the veg garden.
Wood ash can be spread directly on soil in the vegetable garden in late winter at a rate of 50-70g per sq m (1.7-2.4oz per sq yd); Helps prevent club root in brassicas.
I saw on another site that
Wood ash is also useful for pest control. The salt in the wood ash will kill bothersome pests like snails, slugsand some kinds of soft bodied invertebrates. Hurrah - perhaps those slugs will leave my nero kale alone now.
I confess we did all of our wood ash using out of common sense, past reading of gardening books (very past, ours are very old and one is by Percy Thrower) and ingrained experience and only looked up the internet advice later! Why? Because we have been leaving our BT Hub switched off most of the day to save electricity we kept forgetting to look it up in the evenings when we allow ourselves to be connected up. Who needs Google any way?
With regard to the use of electric, we increased our SMART meter budget by £5 a week to allow for darker evenings and the power needed for the oil boiler. With our frugal ways firmly in hand we have not had to use up that extra totally in November, running at 3% below our budget on the 27th of the month.