adding charcoal dust to the soil

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adding charcoal dust to the soil
« on: January 02, 2012, 21:06 »
whilst I have added large amounts of fire ash to the beds in general  , I have made a small raised bed in the greenhouse about 15ins deep and was thinking of adding crushed charcoal to it making the soil dark to absorb the early heat and to give it a fine tilth giving the roots a good start . has anyone else tried this ?
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Re: adding charcoal dust to the soil
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2012, 21:20 »
Wouldn't adding well rotted farm yard manure or garden compost do the same Ilan?  They would both darken the soil and add valuable nutrients and improve the soil structure of your raised bed.

As the bed is inside the greenhouse, the soil should warm up early anyway and a fine tilth should be easier to get as well as the soil won't get waterlogged by rain and you can work it any time you like  :)



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Re: adding charcoal dust to the soil
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2012, 21:25 »
I haven't used it myself, but provided you're not using charcoal briquettes, you should be okay. The dust itself has practically no nutritional value but can add bulk to the soil and perhaps help hold water.

Briquettes, on the other hand, are likely to contain accelerants and other chemicals, so I would always play it safe and never use briquette dust where food will be grown. Unless you have a chemical degree to understand all the chemical reactions, never take chances.



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Re: adding charcoal dust to the soil
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2012, 22:33 »
I would have some reservations about adding a lot of charcoal to your beds. Charcoal is generally used in filters etc where chemicals become attached to the carbon. It could be that nutrients will be less available to your plants. Not quite sure of my science here. Is carbon used in hydroponic systems?

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