This article discusses the benefits of using wood ashes in compost and gardens, and when it is appropriate to do so. Wood ash contains nutrients such as potassium and calcium, making it a natural substitute for lime to balance soil pH. However, it should not be used if the soil is already neutral or alkaline. Before adding ashes, it is important to test the soil pH. When composting, only small amounts of ash should be added, and it should be incorporated into the soil when applying directly to the garden.