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How to Use Charcoal As Fertilizer

By Mark Keller ; Updated September 21, 2017

Charcoal works as a highly effective slow-release fertilizer. The type of charcoal used, however, is important. Natural charcoal formed from biomasses such as wood will give the best results, with commercial charcoal briquettes, often containing chemical additives, being much less beneficial. This type of natural charcoal, purchased from natural-alternative outlets or made by slow-burning wood, will release vital nutrients into the soil, aiding the growth of your plants.

Put on gloves, a safety mask and clothes that you don't mind dirtying. Breathing charcoal powder can be detrimental to your lungs, and crushing the charcoal will make a mess.

Break up the pieces of charcoal with a hammer. Use a rolling pin to further crush the broken pieces, grinding it to powder. Don't worry about fully pulverizing all of the charcoal --- a mixture of small lumps and powder is ideal.

Spread the crushed charcoal over the soil you wish to fertilize to a depth of ΒΌ inch. Rake the ground to mix the charcoal in, working carefully if you've already planted your vegetables or flowers.


Things You Will Need

  • Gloves
  • Safety mask
  • Hammer
  • Rolling pin
  • Rake

About the Author


Mark Keller has been writing everything from short stories to political commentary over the course of the past decade. He has written professionally since 2009 with articles appearing on LibertyMaven.com, Penguinsightings.org, Pepidemic.com and various other websites. He is a theater major at Hillsdale College in Michigan.