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Organic Gardening: Wood ashes, sweet gum balls...

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Forum: Organic GardeningReplies: 7, Views: 80
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(Carole) Cleveland, TX
(Zone 9a)

March 31, 2011
11:01 PM

Post #8464203

We have those dreaded Sweet Gum trees and their precious offspring--prickly sweet gum balls *spits*
It's soooooooooooooooooooo hard to rake and bag and rake and bag, so we burn the nice leaves in the area b/c the d*** sweet gum balls are EVERYwhere...

Question 1: could a compost pile get hot enough to kill the sweet gum seeds inside the balls? or are we better to continue to TRY to burn the things?

Question 2: it's time to clean out the fire pit, so LOTS of wood ashes... ok for the compost bin?
Lake Charles, LA

April 4, 2011
7:42 PM

Post #8472613

Yea, I also have the dreaded SGB, would ya believe I maybe have found a use for those sgb? While digging through my compost pile I found a worm sticking out of one of the holes in the sgb. Light bulb went on. Since I have a red worm bin I thought I would put a few in the bin,cause the little ones love to find hiding places. So I am soaking a few in with my next feeding. Hopefully while they are inside the sgb, they will eat those dreaded seeds. So I will update in a month or two. Raisin worms requires patience.


(Carole) Cleveland, TX
(Zone 9a)

April 5, 2011
10:16 AM

Post #8473691

oh good for you!
hey at least we're not having to contend with those darn Cypress balls! argh! they have that sap on them too. yuk.
grew up on Bistineau with Cypress everywhere. Love the look on the lake... not the balls in the yard!

Good luck on your worm bed with them. Will watch the thread to see how it turns out for you.

I'd heard of making a wreath out of them, spraying them either silver or gold, and then putting a pretty red or blue bow on it.
I bet it would be nice... maybe I'll gather enough to make a wreath and see how that goes.


Still hoping to hear about added the ashes to my compost bin.
North Ridgeville, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 5, 2011
10:29 AM

Post #8473708

Are these nasty things tough enough to survive a wood chipper?


(Carole) Cleveland, TX
(Zone 9a)

April 5, 2011
6:45 PM

Post #8474855

I think the problem with the SGB is that they have a gazillion seeds inside!!!! argh!!
I've tried burning them and unless the fire is EXTREMELY high, they just turn black.
At least the first burning (hopefully) kills the seeds.
I've definitely thought about using my chipper, just thinking about the seeds...
North Ridgeville, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 5, 2011
7:10 PM

Post #8474895

If you dropped the chipped SGBs -- seeds especially -- into a bucket of boiling water, you'd probably solve your problems.
Saint Paul, MN
(Zone 4a)

May 17, 2011
11:14 AM

Post #8569398

Q2 response... I have had wood ashes last for over four years in my compost bin. I'm thinkin' that the organics have been burnt out of the material. I have searched and searched but have never found an answer to satisfy me. Maybe the ashes make the material very acidic too. I know roses like acid and people put wood ashes around roses.
North Ridgeville, OH
(Zone 5b)

May 17, 2011
11:18 AM

Post #8569407

Ashes are basic, not acidic. They raise pH very effectively.

This message was edited May 17, 2011 1:23 PM

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