Adding Lime and Ashes to Clay Soil
I live in Mequon, WI and my lot is heavy clay. Would it help to add wood ashes from my fireplace and lime to the soil to help my trees, shrubs and flowers grow?
Mequon like the rest of southeast Wisconsin has heavy clay soils with a high pH (alkaline). Lime and wood ash are also alkaline, intensifying existing soil nutrient problems. Save wood ash for your compost pile or property in central and northern Wisconsin where the soil is acidic. Even northern gardeners should have their soil tested before adding lime to the soil. In the meantime add organic matter to the soil before starting any new garden. Use organic mulches on the soil around your trees, shrubs and existing plants. As the mulch breaks down it helps improve soil structure and adds nutrients without increasing soil pH.