USES OF ASHES IN ORGANIC AGRICULTURE

Introduction: Ashes to many people is a complete waste emanating from a deliberate or accidental burns of a material. Be it wood, leaves, textile or any other form of combustible items. Whereas we generate ashes commonly from woods through cooking with firewood or charcoal.
Ashes are a very useful material in organic agriculture:

i. Seed treatment: Ashe is very good in the treatment of all kinds of seed before planting. For cereal or grains, where there is suspicious diseases or fungi in the soil the seed can be mixed with little water and ashes, allow to dry for between thirty minutes and one hour then go on with the planting. This will protect the seed from attack at emergence. It is good our seed before planting. For yam tubers, when we are cutting yams to make yam set, the wet part (opening) should be placed on the ashes and allow to dry before planting.
ii. Nursery treatment: It is good to protect our seeds at nursery against any form of attack. At nurseries, it is observed that the plants are so tender and can be easily destroyed by any pest but if we spray the nursery with ashes after planting on the seed bed, it will give the seed additional protection to transplanting stage.
iii. Transplanting treatment: Most plants which are raised through seed bed should be given additional protection on their permanent location before it acclimatized with its new environment. After the transplanting, we can apply ashes round the tender plants such as tomatoes and garden egg.
iv. Treatment as pest control: Pests can be controlled on our farms especially in the vegetable farms, wood ashes can be sprayed or sprinkled on vegetables from time to time as this action will protect our plant to harvesting period provided it is applied regularly and after wetting with water as water applied during wetting will wash away the ashes, so there is need to re-apply the ashes.
v. Treatment as fertilizer: Ashes contain some materials that serve as fertilizer. It is observed that a farm which makes use of ashes produce good harvest compared to a farm where ashes were not applied.

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