J.E. Shields jshields@indy.net
Wed, 07 May 2008 14:06:20 PDT
Hi all,

"Potash" literally is the potassium-containing residue after wood is 
burned.  It is initially potassium oxide, which when mixed with water 
becomes potassium hydroxide, a very strong alkali.  As it ages in air, it 
is converted to potassium carbonate by reacting with CO2 in the air.  This 
is only slightly better than potassium oxide; you still get a very high, 
alkaline pH when it mixes with water.

Using "potash" when one means "potassium" (the chemical element) can get 
you into lots of trouble.  "Sulfate of potash" is correctly called 
potassium sulfate.  "Muriate of potash" is potassium chloride; all that 
chloride is not good for some plants.

You can of course order potassium sulfate from a scientific supply house, 
at a healthy price per pound.  Try Daigger.com on the WWW.

Jim Shields

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:    http://www.shieldsgardens.com/
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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