Charcoal as a soil amendment
Charcoal is created for use as a soil amendment at Pebble Garden and at Discipline Farm. Creating charcoal is a way to utilize large pieces of wood and bamboo which would take a long time to decompose.
Applied in a garden or farm the charcoal is usually 'charged' with urine (human or cattle). Charcoal should be used with care as it initially absorbs ions from decomposing matter, temporarily lowering the soil fertility. The charcoal acts like a 'battery' in the sense that it absorbs nutrients and keeps them in place to become slowly available to the plants. Charcoal helps prevent nutrients from leaching away from the soil.
- Bernard Declercq, Pebble Garden tour of 13 February 2015