Fertilizer for Nerine

J.E. Shields jshields@indy.net
Sat, 30 Mar 2013 05:27:11 PDT

At 08:08 PM 3/29/2013 -0500, you wrote:
>  I routinely toss some wood ashes on snow covered beds during winter.

And this would not pose such a threat.  Fresh wood ashes contain the 
potassium as potassium oxide, K2O, which reacts with water in the air to 
form KOH, the extremely caustic potassium hydroxide.

KOH will absorb carbon dioxide from the air to form potassium carbonate, 
"potash," which is still alkaline but not so destructive as KOH.

Over time, the potassium carbonate absorbs more carbon dioxide from the air 
and some of it becomes potassium bicarbonate, which is no more dangerous 
than baking soda.  It is all a matter of time and process.

Arnold knows all this already, but  I thought a few of the others in the 
group might not.  By the way, I have been known to throw wood ashes on the 
top of a compost pile, where they can weather for a year or two.

Jim Shields

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5
P.O. Box 92              WWW:    http://www.shieldsgardens.com/
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Lat. 40° 02.8' N, Long. 086° 06.6' W

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