are coal ashes ok to spread on lawn or in vegetable garden?

Re: are coal ashes ok to spread on lawn or in vegetable garden?

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:14 pm

I don;t see the purpose of spreading them on a lawn unless you're trying to fill a spot in. As far as the garden the ashes are mostly silica which can be beneficial to lighten the soil. Most of the soil is like clay where we live, we tried. It worked a little but gave up and just got tri-axle of river dirt. :) All the neighbors were wondering how we got the garden to grow so well. :lol:
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: are coal ashes ok to spread on lawn or in vegetable garden?

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:32 pm

I've filled a couple of low spots in the lawn with just ash and was surprised how well the grass came back, but mostly it's dumped on the gravel driveway.

With just gravel, the weight of cars, and with it frost heave, the stones move off into the grass leaving muddy ruts needing more gravel to fill them in.

Even in places that I've got close to a foot deep of gravel, it gets pushed out, and mud leaches up.

Adding used sand from my sand blasting booth helps, but eventually, the gravel still moves outward making ruts, and the sand mixes easily with mud as it gets pushed upward.

Adding the coal ash has finally stopped the outward push of the gravel and the upward push of mud in spring. And no more puddles because the ash allows the rain water to drain through faster then the muddy soil did. The areas where I park are becoming firm enough to support the wheels of my garage jack. Before, the jack wheels used to just sink into the gravel, sand and mud mix.

Paul
Sunny Boy
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Anthracite Industrial, domestic hot water heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood range 208, # 6 base heater, 2 Modern Oak 118.
Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace

Re: are coal ashes ok to spread on lawn or in vegetable garden?

PostBy: freetown fred On: Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:14 pm

In the spring, I've taken a few bags of SAKRETE & spread it on my gravel drive over the seasons ash, dampen, roll-- walla--problem solved:)
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix


Re: are coal ashes ok to spread on lawn or in vegetable garden?

PostBy: gerry_g On: Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:52 pm

Pacowy wrote:
Again, the authoritative info I have seen indicates that the variation in content of potentially harmful materials in coal ash basically follows the variation observed in "uncontaminated" soil samples. I guess it's progress that in 2 hours you went from generalizing about heavy metals in ash to speculating that maybe using a lot of coal from the wrong mine would be a problem. I still don't see anything that resembles support for that proposition by a study with actual information.

[snip]

Maybe somebody who regularly uses coal ash on their lawn or garden would consider testing some soil samples (with and without coal ash applied could be particularly interesting). When the results come back, I'm guessing someone will breathe a sigh of relief that there really isn't a lot of, say, arsenic in coal ash. Then they will go back to handling PT lumber with bare hands, and cutting it without using a respirator.

Mike


I haven't seen anybody present quality references that supports coal ash from arbitrary source is "good" or "bad" for indigenous soil. My "2 hours" was thinking about the topic. I never feel thinking and discussion are unreasonable.

Someone that regularly uses coal ash might be in a graphical area already influenced by local mineral deposits.

Arsenic is a topic didn't introduce. Now banned (unfortunately) in most PT lumber. That said, I have a close friend that went into antipathetic shock and nearly died cutting the older copper aresenate lumber due to his genetic disposition and failure to read one of the THREE stickers stapled on the lumber's end that warned one to wear a dust mask when cutting.

I still believe generalization is meaningless. Thought and knowledge of local conditions and what is in their source contains may well be meaningful. I selectively use my ash (not dispose) and protect myself from that particular irritation (inhalation) that affects me. I don't use it in my garden since I have no idea what is in it. Just my choice, I use compost from what grew on my soil instead.

gerry
gerry_g
 
Coal Size/Type: rice
Other Heating: Electric, Propane
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer LE Top Vent

Re: are coal ashes ok to spread on lawn or in vegetable garden?

PostBy: freetown fred On: Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:16 pm

So summed up, after one researches whatever they wish, pertaining to ANTHRACITE coal ash, it would be a individual conclusion as to whether or not to use it, per-say, in their garden area. My personal research has concluded that any toxic levels are within a range of ---it is safe & I do use it with confidence. Things that I do not take lightly where my family was/is concerned. :)
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: are coal ashes ok to spread on lawn or in vegetable garden?

PostBy: windyhill4.2 On: Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:29 pm

Scared of coal ash ?? how about aspartame ? it's in lots of diet foods & drinks, formaldehyde ? it's in lots of carpet,paneling & plywood,cigarette smoke ? yep . how about GMO foods ? Don't buy semi trailer load of ash & put it 6" deep in your garden,but safe to use as a soil conditioner . PS do you use margarine in your foods ,its only 1or 2 steps away from plastic !! you read that right aint no typo !!!!!!!
windyhill4.2
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1960 EFM520 installed in truck box
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404 with variable blower
Coal Size/Type: 404-nut, 520 rice ,anthracite for both

Re: are coal ashes ok to spread on lawn or in vegetable garden?

PostBy: Pacowy On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:02 am

gerry_g wrote:I haven't seen anybody present quality references that supports coal ash from arbitrary source is "good" or "bad" for indigenous soil. My "2 hours" was thinking about the topic. I never feel thinking and discussion are unreasonable.

Someone that regularly uses coal ash might be in a graphical area already influenced by local mineral deposits.

Arsenic is a topic didn't introduce. Now banned (unfortunately) in most PT lumber. That said, I have a close friend that went into antipathetic shock and nearly died cutting the older copper aresenate lumber due to his genetic disposition and failure to read one of the THREE stickers stapled on the lumber's end that warned one to wear a dust mask when cutting.

I still believe generalization is meaningless. Thought and knowledge of local conditions and what is in their source contains may well be meaningful. I selectively use my ash (not dispose) and protect myself from that particular irritation (inhalation) that affects me. I don't use it in my garden since I have no idea what is in it. Just my choice, I use compost from what grew on my soil instead.

gerry


AFAIK arsenic, lead and mercury are among the elements most commonly cited by some environmental groups as heavy metal pollutants associated with coal ash. You generalized about coal ash containing heavy metals; I used arsenic as an example.

This topic was addressed in a recent thread (Ash), in which I included a link to a USGS analysis that showed the negligible levels of arsenic in PA anthracite and other coals (http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2005/3152/fs2005-3152.pdf). I think of that as being a "quality reference".

I don't follow your points about local conditions and mineral deposits. The OP's question relates to the consequences of using coal ash. If coal ash in fact is comparable in "toxicity" to clean soil, how do pre-existing local conditions have anything to do with the safety of spreading coal ash?
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: are coal ashes ok to spread on lawn or in vegetable garden?

PostBy: ShawninNY On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:01 am

There's not 1 study that cites ash not having metals , it seems reasonable to not put them in your vege garden,
ShawninNY
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Waterford/penn royal in garage
Stove/Furnace Model: 1994 Erin

Re: are coal ashes ok to spread on lawn or in vegetable garden?

PostBy: Pacowy On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:14 am

ShawninNY wrote:There's not 1 study that cites ash not having metals , it seems reasonable to not put them in your vege garden,


And there's not 1 study that says plain dirt doesn't have metals. Does that mean you shouldn't have dirt in the garden either?

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: are coal ashes ok to spread on lawn or in vegetable garden?

PostBy: ShawninNY On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:27 am

He didn't ask about dirt, he asked about adding coal ash to his garden.i suggested he not do it,
ShawninNY
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Waterford/penn royal in garage
Stove/Furnace Model: 1994 Erin

Re: are coal ashes ok to spread on lawn or in vegetable garden?

PostBy: Pacowy On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:12 am

So why are the trace amounts of toxins in dirt ok for growing a garden, but the same concentrations in ash are to be avoided?
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: are coal ashes ok to spread on lawn or in vegetable garden?

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:57 am

Guess what, many of those heavy metals and "toxins" are included in daily vitamin pills. And they are in many of the foods we eat. You need certain amounts of many of them for good health, or , in foods, they are in such small doses that they didn't do harm.

The question in all of this is, how much is too much ? The other question that still stands is, where are the studies that say coal ash has too much heavy metals and toxins ?

And, environ-"mental" groups would be the last ones I'd trust to tell me what's safe. Their extreme tactics and out-right lies have destroyed their credibility with all but the sheeple - who need to be told what to think.

Paul
Sunny Boy
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Anthracite Industrial, domestic hot water heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood range 208, # 6 base heater, 2 Modern Oak 118.
Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace

Re: are coal ashes ok to spread on lawn or in vegetable garden?

PostBy: windyhill4.2 On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:55 am

fish guide,moderation is the key word here,you can use coal ash just as you would lime,not for the same purpose but whether its lime, ashes,manure,fertilizer,or anything else you might use in your garden,you have to use it in moderation.If you use only chicken manure the phosphorus level will go too high,use only cow manure the potash level will go too high,moderation & balance. We use no chemicals at all on our property,only natural things,& no GMO seeds , we buy mostly organic foods to avoid the pesticides & herbicides used by so many. So go ahead & use some ashes in your garden,blue berries & strawberries are just two that like acidic soil.
windyhill4.2
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1960 EFM520 installed in truck box
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404 with variable blower
Coal Size/Type: 404-nut, 520 rice ,anthracite for both

Re: are coal ashes ok to spread on lawn or in vegetable garden?

PostBy: gerry_g On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:46 am

Pacowy wrote:AFAIK arsenic, lead and mercury are among the elements most commonly cited by some environmental groups as heavy metal pollutants associated with coal ash. You generalized about coal ash containing heavy metals; I used arsenic as an example.

This topic was addressed in a recent thread (Ash), in which I included a link to a USGS analysis that showed the negligible levels of arsenic in PA anthracite and other coals (http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2005/3152/fs2005-3152.pdf). I think of that as being a "quality reference".

I don't follow your points about local conditions and mineral deposits. The OP's question relates to the consequences of using coal ash. If coal ash in fact is comparable in "toxicity" to clean soil, how do pre-existing local conditions have anything to do with the safety of spreading coal ash?


The link you provided also contains "More direct exposure to arsenic from coal occurs where coal is used for domestic purposes.". Hardly an endorsement. It also doesn't mention soil anyplace, thus I am not sure why you added "If coal ash in fact is comparable in "toxicity" to clean soil". Perhaps you could add a reference that suggests coal ash is comparable to clean soil. I'll gladly learn from credible references.

Regarding using ash as food fertilizer, Scientific American (pretty credible) questions the safety.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coal-ash-in-soil/

If read carefully, it seems to accept modest use of fly ash but not large amounts. It also expresses rational possible concerns.

Basically coal ash is cheap fertilizer, but one MAY get stuff they didn't bargain for.

gerry
gerry_g
 
Coal Size/Type: rice
Other Heating: Electric, Propane
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer LE Top Vent

Re: are coal ashes ok to spread on lawn or in vegetable garden?

PostBy: Pacowy On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:39 am

IIRC correctly the quote about coal for domestic purposes was drawn from a situation (in China, I think) where local coals high in arsenic were burned indoors without venting of combustion byproducts. It's pretty misleading to cite that as if it applies to people burning PA anthracite in proper appliances with proper venting.

For a discussion of arsenic in soils, you might want to read http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/area ... _guide.pdf . They report a natural background level of about 7 ppm, and a "no concern about children playing in it" level of 37 ppm. They also describe man-made sources of arsenic and lead contamination, with major sources being things like paint, gasoline, pesticides, smelter operations, etc. I don't mind reading SA, but that article's claims about harm from single-digit ppm concentrations seems to imply that we all are doomed by background concentrations, and its anecdotes about "somebody used coal ash and now there is lead and arsenic in the water" seem more like fear-mongering than anything that accounts accurately for the actual contribution - if any - of the ash to the readings.

If you still think PA anthracite is basically harmful rather than benign, you probably should make sure you don't drink any tap water, because anthracite is widely used as a filtration medium in municipal drinking water supplies. I had a neighbor who used to run his mouth about all of the supposed contamination caused by coal, but when he figured out that he was drinking fresh water from it that passes stringent testing requirements, I think it started to dawn on him that common perceptions sometimes deviate far from the evidence.

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite