Biochar instead of Perlite & Vermiculite

Most gardeners are aware of the benefits of using either Perlite or Vermiculite as an additive soil ingredient, but few understand that Biochar is the perfect alternative!



Many common potting soil ingredients serve the same use, such as Perlite, Vermiculite, Peat Moss, Bark, Wood Chips and Charcoal. Most are moisture retaining and more-or-less inert and can be used in the garden to prevent soil compaction, help to retain moisture and improve the soil's aeration and drainage. They’re also used in propagation of new plants and seed cultivations, as well as in indoor container growing, composting and on lawns.


There are both financial and ecological benefits to using charcoal in place of Vermiculite and Perlite. Both are becoming increasingly expensive, especially in the quantities used by commercial nurseries. Locally made charcoal can be cheaper and involves far less harmful production and transportation.


Vermiculite and Perlite have poor carbon footprints because their production involves heating them to extreme temperatures (Between 100 and 500 °C more than high quality Biochar) and they are imported over very long distances.