Compost Tea and Biochar

by Itai
(Costa Rica)

What is your experience with “charging” Biochar with compost tea? Does it work? Do you have any tips?

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Dec 10, 2011
Judith - Our BioChar Expert
by: Compost Junkie Dave

Hi Itai,

I don't have much experience with Biochar at this moment, so I wouldn't be a good candidate to provide you with an answer; however, I have asked Judith, our Biochar expert (would you call yourself that Judith?) to chime in on this subject...

Dec 14, 2011
Biochar and Compost Tea
by: Craig Sams

Biochar takes some time to get fully inhabited by the fungi and bacteria populations that are appropriate to the soil and plants involved. So soaking it in compost tea works. At our company, Carbon Gold (UK based) we add a blend of 6 different mycorrhizal fungi and wormcasts (a rich source of actinomycetes bacteria) and this ensures that the biochar gets to work as soon as it is added to the soil or growing medium. This is particularly important with seed compost, where colonization by the right fungi and bacterial at the seedling stage makes a big difference right through the life of the plant and helps a lot when transplanting.

Dec 14, 2011
Compost Tea and BioChar
by: Compost Junkie Dave

Hey Craig,

Thanks for this information.

Can you do me a favor and send me an email via our contact page with your email in it. I'd like to ask you a few more questions regarding biochar, your company, etc.


Dec 16, 2011
Microbes and Carbon
by: Mark C

I have been adding microbes, minerals and paramagnetic rock to the carbon in order to replicate Terra Preta . Makes great soil.


Dec 17, 2011
More Information Re BioChar In Garden
by: Compost Junkie Dave

Hi Mark.

Can you elaborate on what exactly you've been using, and what you mean by "great soil"? This will benefit the entire Tribe and all future readers of your post.

By the way, for anyone that is curious, Terra Preta is a term used to describe the "Amazonian black earths" that researchers are studying in the Amazon rainforest. These soils are incredibly fertile and are loaded with Biochar substances. Although these regions have been studied for over a century, there has been a renewed interest recently from parties across the globe. The fact that we are able to mimic some of these conditions in other areas of the world, including in our own backyards, is more than enough to get this soil-lover's attention.

Looking forward to hearing more about your soil-building experiences Mark. Thanks a bundle.

Dec 19, 2011
From CharBiological
by: Judith

Hello Itai and everyone...

To answer your question specifically...This is one way to charge and infuse the biochar with compost tea that you might like.

Put biochar in a 5 gallon bucket filled half way add compost tea up to 3/4 full. (completely covering the biochar). (This is where you could add in microbes as well)

Use a long handled wooden spoon or stick and stir in one direction for about a minute or two and then the other direction. Repeat several times.

Add the biochar to the soil at a rate of 5 cups per cubic foot of dampened soil more or less. Be sure that the biochar is mixed under and into the soil.

When you are finished with mixing it into the soil be sure to add in the compost tea over the areas where the biochar has been added.
Yummy stuff for the soil, plants and microbes.

Another thing: See a wonderful video on Google regarding the modern day discovery of Terra Preta.

Terra Preta Video

It's about 40 min and gives an interesting bit of historical perspective. I think you will love it!

Learn more at

Dec 19, 2011
BioChar and Compost Tea
by: Compost Junkie Dave

As promised, Judith, comes through for us!!!

Thanks so much Judith.

I'm excited to watch that video. As soon as I do, I'll be sure to post a review. If someone gets to it first, please do share your thoughts and opinions.

Happy BioChar-ing Everyone!


Dec 20, 2011
by: Anonymous

Grind wood-based charcoal very fine. Add finely ground minerals. Plus Basalt, will increase the paramagnetic energy. Check the PH. If you need to adjust down, add apple cider vinegar. Add your microbes, either using compost tea or a good soil inoculant. When applying to soil add fish/seaweed and molasses.

I judge soil by the smell. It should have a sweet smell to it. No smell, bad smell, something is not working right. The charcoal is a huge sponge, holding water, nutrients and giving the microbes a good home.


Dec 22, 2011
by: Anonymous

Thank you everyone for your input!!

May 07, 2012
What is Terra Preta? Why all the excitement?
by: Eric in Denver

I want to STRONGLY recommend the BBC documentary on Terra Preta that Judith, our biochar expert, provides on her wonderful website,

Want to learn what all the excitement is about? What is it about those two little words, Terra Preta that can make a room of sober soil scientist into giddy schoolgirls? A super soil amendment that can turn lifeless dirt into a thriving productive soil food web? Bio-remediation? Carbon sequestration? The "groundwork" for a sustainable future?

Come and see!

Eric in Denver

May 07, 2014
Ash wood
by: Anonymous

I found out from a wood fireplace store that Ash mwood has an acid in it that eats up metal. This wood did eat up a hole in a steel plate that was used as a heat shield a 3 in one in one season and I did't burn every day. wach out people you could have a big fire. Larry in Ohio.

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