Saturday, January 22, 2011

Burn and Return.

I have a large fire pit that is used as an integral part of my yard renewal.  My fire pit is pictured here:

This fire pit was hand welded by myself about two years ago.  The Chinese symbols for longevity, and wisdom coupled with the knots at the ends of the fire pit tie together the elements from my front yard including the engraved granite seasons patio and my sunset gold bamboo.  The fire pit is about ten feet long and fifteen inches across at the top and is supported by a single iron strut embedded in a four foot deep hole incased with concrete.  This allows the pit to 'float' above my patio at a height of about six inches eliminating tripping hazards and giving it a very cool look.  It is very heavy duty constructed of 8 ga. steel and is able to support an entire cut log or about fifty lbs. of charcoal.  Barbecuing meat can be done as well as open fire evenings on the patio in early spring or late fall with the pit warming the entire patio. 

I burn most of my dead and dry material from my yard in this pit.  I burn pruned tree branches, rose stalks, leaf litter, and even dog bones that my pet has finished.  

The ash from this pit is a rich source of minerals - mainly phosphorus - essential for my garden spaces.  But if I directly apply this to my soil I will drastically increase the alkalinity which creates a different problem.  

The solution:  Burn and Return

Collect your ashes into five gallon buckets.  

This next part is for those of you who are not squeamish.....

Pee on them.  Pee on them fifteen to twenty times per batch.  

The uric acid will balance the harsh alkaloids and the nitrogen in human urine will bind nicely into the ash completing it as a high potency fertilizer.  

After this process has been completed you will want to mix this concoction 5-1 with a compost or with your coffee grounds.  

Let this sit for about two weeks then mix into your garden beds especially around the tomatoes.    The nitrogen will support plant growth and because it is bound in the ash it will release more slowly and last longer than a chemical fertilizer.  The phosphorus will boost blossoms and encourage large crops.  

Try 'Burn and Return' and let me know what you think. 

P.S. If you would like a custom fire pit I would be willing to ship just about anywhere in the world!  Just let me know what you are thinking and if I can help I would be glad to make you one.  Compensation would depend on what you want and how long it would take me to make it. 


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