Potash Kalium Connection
I wonder if my neighbors suspect that I’m engaging in some sort of occult ritual as I take rounds through the farmden followed by puffs of grey smoke. Perhaps I’m entreating tiny gnomes living within the soil to keep weeds at bay next season? Or begging garden gremlins to make my soil fertile? No, and again no! I’m merely spreading wood ashes.
I must be careful with my terminology: I’m not dumping wood ashes; I’m fertilizing my soil with wood ashes. Wood ash is a rich source of potassium, a nutrient required by plants in amounts second only to nitrogen. Potassium helps build strong stems and helps plants resist disease. It also regulates the opening and closing of stomata, the tiny pores in leaves through which gases pass for photosynthesis.
The close connection between potassium and wood ash is reflected in a traditional source of, and the root of the word, potassium — “potash.” Read more