The Garden – Terra Preta (Agrichar)

The ancient Peruvians discovered that by burying charcoal in their agricultural soils, they could improve the fertility of those soils as the charcoal reduced leaching of nutrients from the soil and generally improved it. They called this technique “Terra Preta”.

In the 21st Century, the addition of “Agri-Char” to soil achieves the same kind of improvements, but could also potentially be a good way to permanently sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide should it be introduced on a sufficiently large scale.

I bought a few bags of ‘local charcoal’ from my local hardware store – sustainably produced charcoal from local forestry resources – and added them to my raised beds as a soil improver and carbon sequestration. 



  1. laura said,

    October 18, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Can you please tell us how your plants went with the charcoal?

    • October 19, 2014 at 10:41 am

      Hi Laura, it’s difficult to say because I don’t know how they would have done without it. But I’ve been growing in the same soil for ten years or more now, and with only the addition of chicken manure from time to time, it always gives me good plants. The slugs and snails agree too! Unfortunately.

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