Among organic tomato feeds, wood ash is one of the most popular and most affordable.
On most summer cottages there are houses with a stove, during the heating of which ash accumulates, many gardeners burn dry grass, potato tops, cut branches during the season - this ash is also an excellent fertilizer. You will learn more about the rules for feeding tomato seedlings with ash in the article, in addition, get acquainted with the methods of feeding.
Why is this fertilizer useful at home for tomatoes?
The composition of the ash varies greatly depending on what is being burned. But in any case, it always contains calcium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, as well as iron and sulfur, the percentage of which differs depending on the type of plant.
- Phosphorus - an absolutely necessary element for the growth of seedlings and the formation of fruits. With its lack, the plant grows very slowly, the leaves are covered with pale purple spots, and when tomatoes are formed, they ripen poorly and remain small. All these problems are easily solved by the application of ash fertilizers, with a sharp and severe form - foliar spraying.
- Potassium - especially necessary for early transplantation of tomatoes into open ground and greenhouses, as it increases the frost resistance of plants, enhances immunity, with a sufficient potassium content in the soil, resistance to fungal infections increases, the growth of stems increases. If the leaves of seedlings or adult plants begin to curl up into a tube or turn yellow, the introduction of ash will solve this problem by saturating the soil with potassium. In ash fertilizers, it is in a form that is most easily assimilated by tomatoes.
- Calcium - it is necessary for the direct formation of the stem, with a lack of it in the soil, the plant turns pale, the top bends, the root system does not develop normally. After a day or two watering with ash infusion, this problem will go away, the tomatoes will begin to form normally.
- Sodium - especially useful when it is impossible to water the bushes every day, as it increases their drought resistance, regulating the processes of absorption and evaporation of moisture. With an acute lack of potassium, the leaves are covered with brownish spots.
All this and more a huge amount of trace elements found in ash has a very beneficial effect on the growth and development of tomatoes at all stages of growth - from germination of seeds to fruiting of bushes. Ash introduced into the soil in spring is able to provide the ground for tomatoes with basic nutrition for several years without causing any harm. Do not assume that organic fertilizers can be applied uncontrollably and in any quantity.
Too much ash in the soil can dramatically reduce its acidity, and some trace elements will become difficult for tomatoes to access. It is not necessary to apply fertilizer from ash in the same year when lime was added to the soil - phosphorus in the soil will go into a form that plants cannot assimilate.
Many gardeners are wondering if tobacco ash can be used as fertilizer for tomatoes. Absolutely not, or in symbolic quantities. If you plan to burn clean tobacco, it will be organic fertilizer., to which the tomatoes will respond with gratitude. In addition to tobacco, the ashes from cigarettes contain harmful tar and poisons that can weaken and even destroy the plant.
Methods of administration of the additive
Ash can be used at all stages of tomato growing.
Half a tablespoon of fertilizer is poured with a glass of slightly cooled boiling water and insisted from several hours to three days, after which it is filtered through several layers of gauze. The seeds are dipped into the resulting solution for several hours, then dried. After such a procedure, the seeds germinate faster, the germination percentage also increases.
Ash is added to the soil prepared for seedlings at the rate of 1 glass of sifted ash per kilogram of soil.
When the tomatoes have risen - feeding can be continued by watering the seedlings with ash fertilizer... It can be prepared in two ways - a simple solution and infusion. When preparing the infusion, ash within 100 grams is stirred in warm water and infused for a day or two - this infusion can be used to water adult bushes and the soil around them.
The solution is prepared a little differently - up to three glasses of sifted ash are added to a bucket of warm water, infused for several days and filtered. Once every two weeks, plants are watered with this solution - seedlings in a quarter of a glass, adult transplanted plants - about a liter per bush.
Spraying plants with an ash solution
Foliar dressing - spraying the leaves of an adult plant - an ash solution is very useful... With a lack of phosphorus in the tomato bushes, they begin to hurt - the leaves curl, turn yellow, slightly noticeable spots of a purple hue appear on the lower part of the leaf, the fruits themselves slowly ripen, remain small.
Spraying tomatoes with an ash solution very quickly saturates them with the necessary phosphorus - the result is usually noticeable after a couple of days, whereas when feeding through watering or dropping ash, improvements can take longer.
Moreover, such foliar feeding can save tomatoes from a large number of pests and diseases as a bonus, therefore, it is recommended to carry it out regularly - at least once a week.
The use of fertilizer when transplanting seedlings
When planting tomatoes in a greenhouse or in open ground, the use of sifted ash or ash fertilizer is mandatory. If the soils are acidic, heavy, it is recommended to add at least three tablespoons of ash per bush to them before transplanting. Ash is pre-mixed with earth.
Avoid direct contact of plant roots with large amounts of ashnot mixed thoroughly with the soil - this can lead to root burns and death or disease of the plant.
Before planting tomatoes, in the spring, you can additionally add ash to the ground when digging - this will lighten the soil and saturate it with microelements. You should not abuse it, since ash will be added during transplantation and later used for watering, but you can add a half-liter jar per square meter of soil.
Ash must be sieved before adding to the soil or to the future solution.... This will prevent heavy insoluble compounds from entering the ground.
Sprinkling dry matter on the culture
In addition to spraying with a solution, sifted ash, you can simply powder the leaves - this can be done if signs of phosphorus or potassium deficiency have already appeared, but there is no ready-made solution.
Naturally, ash will hold well for the required time only on wet leaves, therefore, sprinkling of tomatoes is carried out either early in the morning, when dew is on the leaves, or after sprinkling them from a hose or sprayer. It is very convenient to powder the leaves using a flour sieve - it passes exactly those ash fractions that are necessary for tomatoes.
Since it is recommended to fertilize with ash in the spring, since the nutrients are quickly washed out of it with water and practically nothing remains in the soil when feeding in autumn, the question arises - how to keep the ash until spring?
During storage, the only requirement is the dryness of the room. With high humidity, ash crumbles and loses some of the nutrients, besides, kneading it to a working condition will be almost impossible.
For storing sifted ash, plastic buckets or large containers with tight-fitting lids to keep moisture out are perfect. If there are no such containers, you can use plastic bags without tying them too tightly so that there is air access. So the fertilizer overwinters well, even if the room in which the ash is stored is not heated throughout the winter.
Ash feeding is a universal, environmentally friendly, absolutely free and very effective fertilizer for growing all types of tomatoes. When using it, you practically do not need to apply any other fertilizers, since it contains most of the trace elements necessary for tomatoes. The introduction of ash into the soil before planting and the regular use of ash infusions or solutions will significantly increase the yield of the bushes and the time of fruiting.
We offer you to watch a video about the benefits of ash for tomatoes and its composition, as well as about the rules for feeding: