Usually my household is compost-forward, but there’s only so much wood ash a compost heap can take before turning alkaline. After a cookout or campfire, I poke around the summer garden for some alkaline-friendly plants. Some ash lovers include asparagus, parsley, okra, clematis, and mock oranges. I usually add a cup of ash to a watering can and pour around the beds, avoiding direct contact with the plant’s stock.
If you are an urban griller and don’t need to adjust the pH balance of your desk succulents, you can use the ash to polish silver and other dulled metals. Ash has a bit of texture that makes it a quick, effective polish. Take a handful of ash and add a touch of water to make a paste. Let sit for a few minutes, rub away, and rinse with nontoxic soap for sparkling spoons!
Disclaimer: It’s important to note here that I use 100 percent all-natural charcoal when grilling. Most standard charcoal briquettes contain additives like nitrates, sawdust, and borax that shouldn’t be used for gardening. When grilling, my family uses Big Green Egg brand.