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Horticultural Biochar

An Organic Soil Conditioner

Horticultural Charcoal, also known as Biochar, comes in a number of forms, it consists of the smaller particles or fines of charcoal made from English hardwood species. It is an anciently used way of conditioning your soil, by helping to retain nutrients and moisture in the soil and aiding with soil structure and drainage.

An Introduction to Biochar

What is Biochar?

Biochar is charcoal produced from cooked plant matter and stored in the soil. It has a highly porous sponge like structure which provides homes for microbial and fungal life while storing water and nutrients.

Our Biochar is made from native English hardwoods and comes straight from the kiln so it is free of chemicals and nutrients. The plant material used in biochar production will determine the efficacy of the biochar itself. 

Hardwood biochar is of the highest quality and unsurpassed in its power. In addition Hardwood Biochar doesn't breakdown in the same way as other organic/carbon material and will benefit the soils structure and fertility for hundreds of years.

Biochar can be mixed into the soil straight away. It can however initially compete with plants for both water and nutrients. So you might not see any results for a year or so, as the Biochar needs time to absorb nutrients before it can then slowly release them back to the plants.

Once Biochar has been Enriched (Activated, Charged or Fermented), it is full of nutrients and microbial life and so will benefit your plants straight away. 

The Dorset Charcoal Company provide both types of biochar.


Biochar Application;

  • Pots and Tubs: Apply one part Biochar to 10 parts compost or top soil.

  • Vegetable Patches or Garden Borders: Mix into the top 30 cm of soil in autumn, winter or at the start of spring to restore soil fertility

  • Seeding: Apply Biochar to bottom of seedling trenches, place and cover seeds and water well.

  • Turf Laying: Apply Biochar to topsoil and rake in 1Kg per one cubic metre turfing area and water well.

  • Transplanting Trees: When transplanting a tree place biochar at bottom of the hole before planting.