CHARCOAL SOIL MIXES
Charcoal can be either mixed with potting soil, compost or peat moss, charcoal is useful in lightening the soil and bringing out all its benefits.
Terrariums - Due to its absorbing properties, charcoal is used as a water reservoir, an odour absorbent and at the same time it prevents rotting of the roots. Charcoal is usually deposited on top of small rocks in order to help with drainage.
This charcoal is particles of between 5 and 10mm.
Orchids - All orchid lovers around the world have discovered the virtues of adding charcoal to most soil mixes.
African violets - It has been used by many African violet lovers since carbon is useful for this particular plant. A fine granular size is added to the soilless mix in order to stabilize the humidity level and prevent it from fluctuating.
Lawns - Fine charcoal powder used on lawns (Especially for Golf) absorbs and eliminates excess amounts of fertilizer and chemicals present in the soil.
Transplanting trees - Before transplanting a tree, you may place a few charcoal pieces at bottom of the hole before planting. It will absorb and purify any stagnant water and help with drainage.
But don't just take our word for it...
"Charcoal is a commodity of the greatest value in connection with the improvement of soil"
The Vegetable Growers Handbook - Arthur J Simons.
"It is of great benefit to plants growing in pots for it helps to keep the soil `sweet` and moist"
The Popular Encyclopaedia of Gardening - The Almagamated Press Ltd.
"If the plants are to stay for a year or so in single pots without repotting (as in the case of palms), charcoal is a distinct advantage, not only because of the better drainage it affords, but also because it prevents the soil from souring."
The Complete book of Composting - JI Rodale
"I have also used it as a buffer against the effects of sporadic watering. Most of us will have killed plants in the past from over-watering, but as it can take up to three days for the charcoal to become completely saturated, it slowly absorbs excess water, opening up the valuable air spaces between the particles in the medium. It then slowly gives the moisture back to the compost slowing the drying rate. Sandy soils can be encouraged to retain water if charcoal is added and clay soils can be improved as the charcoal particles create a more porous structure"
Charcoal for the Future - Henry Doubleday Research Association News, No.154.