First of all, a good garden starts with good soil. Rich and quality garden soil is essential for the development of plants. Soil health is a crucial factor for the consideration of growing an organic garden. If plants do imperfectly, there is an excellent opportunity it has something to do with the soil. It ensures the better future of the plant, and you can get the best outcome. Soil organisms such as earthworms, bacteria, fungi are the reason for the breakdown of plant and animal residues, which helps obtain organic substances. The plentiful part of organic matter is humus, which remains after the putrefaction of it. Organic matter is a supplier of nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and sulfur.
- It improves the aeration and the structure of the soil
- It increases the availability of plant
- It also reduces erosion
- It enlarges the nutrient retention
There are some features of rich quality garden soil. So let's have a glance at it-
- Ideal soil should have large pores for water movement and air infiltration.
- There should be adequate depth, which means deep enough to permit plants to grow to their genetic perspective.
- A sound drainage system is a must quality of good soil that can prevent erosion.
- Nutrients are essential for the growth and development of the plant. There are two types of nutrient – macro and micro. Macronutrients like- nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Micronutrients are- iron, manganese, boron, molybdenum, copper, zinc, chlorine, and cobalt. So the appropriate level of micro and macronutrients are really very necessary.
- A large amount of beneficial organisms plays an essential role in good soil. Beneficial microorganisms are mainly the organism that benefits the growing process of plants. Insects, arachnids, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and nematodes are an example of beneficial microorganisms. They maintain good soil health and control pests.
- The soil profile is an important feature to know about the quality of the soil. From the soil profile, you can see how the ground layered. The top layer is dark brown to black color. It consists of semi composed and decomposed organic substances. Topsoil is deep brown, and it is the wealthiest layer of soil. This topsoil can be unavailable in some spaces due to erosion.
For creating an excellent enriched quality garden soil, you can use charcoal. Charcoal can act as a good fertilizer for the soil. If you want to elevate rich, nutrient full vegetables and fresh flowers in your garden, you can add charcoal to your soil. Adding charcoal is the easiest and most fruitful way. There are some reasons that you can add charcoal to your soil. Take a look at these points:-
- Charcoal has a low density so that it can lighten heavy soils. It allows for better root development. It also increases the drainage and allows air into the soil. By applying charcoal to the soil, the tiny pores will consider air to diffuse into the soil.
- It helps to raise the pH level of the soil. The ideal pH range of any soil garden is about 6.0-7.0. Charcoal ash contains potash, which increases the pH level in your garden soil. But it also depends on your plant choice. You should avoid using charcoal ash with newly planted seedlings and acid-loving plants such as blueberries, azaleas, and hydrangeas.
- It is non-toxic to plants. So you can use it confidently in your soil. Adding charcoal will not create any harmful effects on your plants.
- Charcoal is finely powdered, porous black carbon. It originated from plant materials. It slows or reduces the straining of nutrients by rain or watering. This process expands the soil's capability to hold onto plant nutrients and beneficial soil microbes.
- Additive-free, natural, wood charcoal can be good plant food. The wood charcoal or ash carries potash (potassium carbonate), which is very nutritious for many herbs.
- Crushed charcoal extinguishes weeds in your yard or garden. Many flower admirers think and accept that charcoal soaks up toxins and raise the alkalinity of the soil. When you raise orchids, you can add crushed charcoal.
- Fine-grained carbon or charcoal provide energy to microorganism, which helps break the organic matter in compost.
- Charcoal can help to increase crop yields. It can decrease water runoff and let you breathe easier for a long time.
- The charcoal will not decompose to carbon dioxide for its stability. High solidity and porosity make charcoal better manure.
After knowing the charcoal's role and usefulness in creating good soil, you should know how to add charcoal. In this regard, you can follow the same way of using compost or manure. For speeding up the composting process, you can add fine-grained charcoal to your fertilizer heap. If you do not use charcoal with naturally rich soil, you may degrade the plant growth. Just scatter it slightly across the soil and work on it.
Let's get to know about something interesting! Early Portuguese travelers originated some black earth areas that they named "TERRA PRETA DO INDIO," meaning "Indian black earth" in Portuguese. The pre- Columbian peoples made rich soil by including charcoal and animal bones to regular waste to create fertile soil. BIOCHAR is another name for charcoal.
Now you may have a question- can I use ordinary charcoal for plants? The answer to this question is quite tricky. Grilling charcoal is not the type of charcoal you need for a good quality of the soil.
There are different types of charcoal you can use in your soil.
It generally helps to absorb the excess water in herbs and plants. It can work very well for succulent (the plants which store water in their thick stem and leaves). It is also best for plants growing in an ornamental container and other closed-in planting procedures.
The plants (orchids and ferns), which needs a moist environment, it is perfect for them. You can get rid of stagnant water as it increases oxygen levels and the appearance of essential microbes. Though it does not absorb water as activated charcoal, it has excellent benefits for soil.
Both horticultural and activated charcoal can stop plant rotting by protecting a plant's soil and roots from fungus and bacteria.
It is one kind of charcoal that is perfect for an aquarium that holds forms of green plants. It generally acts like a filter by absorbing pollutants and eliminate organic and inorganic materials.
Grilling charcoal is not the type of charcoal you need for the excellent quality of the soil. Through using grilling charcoal, you can end up raising the pH level of the soil. It contains some extra chemicals which are not suitable for soil. You may not get the same consequence as activated or horticultural by using grilling charcoal.
Now you should know the process of applying charcoal into your garden soil. You can mix potting soil and horticultural charcoal utilizing 2 cups of charcoal for every cubic foot of potting soil. Then fill up the drainage holes and line the pots with charcoal. You may set potting soil on top more than mixing charcoal into the culture media.
Adding charcoal can ensure a healthy garden soil as well as a healthy lifestyle. Healthy garden soil can provide you such fresh crops, fruits, and vegetables. So charcoal is playing a significant role in creating rich quality garden soil.