Forest-Char (Biochar)

What is Forest-Char (Biochar)?

It is the product of burning/pyrolysing wood under controlled conditions making a virtually pure form of carbon. It is a totally natural product made from renewable and sustainable sources.

What does Forest-Char (Biochar) do in the soil?


Forest-Char (Biochar) replaces moisture releasing agents such as peat and other organic and gel based products. When blended with sources of natural fibre such as Coir from nutshells and manure, it replicates the ratio of carbon and lignin found naturally in peat. Using Biochar helps preserve the peat bogs formed over thousands of years.


Forest-Char (Biochar) holds water in its microscopic pores and releases water in a controlled way to give plants a continuous supply, prolonging the time between watering, especially in drought conditions.


Forest-Char (Biochar) releases the added nutrients such as fertilisers and other inorganic salts more slowly by temporarily binding them cationically (a mild electronic charge) into the water held in the pores, stopping them leaching quickly away. It keeps the nutrients in the top layers of the soil for longer, maximising the availability to young plant root systems.


Forest-Char (Biochar) promotes the growth of helpful Microrhizzal fungi by providing a safe haven for them away from their natural predators. The microporous structure allows the fungi to grow rapidly in ideal conditions without the natural predators being able to feed on the fungi. The fungi are then able to multiply very rapidly and promote rapid plant growth by providing food close to the roots of rapidly growing plants. Because Biochar is neutral in acidity, it promotes the growth rate of fungi and other soil born organisms rather than the high acidity found in many other soil improvers.


Forest-Char (Biochar) does not break down quickly, so continues to work for more the one season. Depending on the size, it can remain active for several years and continue to function very effectively.


Forest-Char (Biochar) captures carbon and places it directly in the soil therefore helping to reverse the negative effects of plant degradation during decomposition. One kilo of biochar offsets the carbon produced by 3 hours running a washing machine or tumble dryer, or 2 days of watching TV.


Forest-Char (Biochar) is produced at temperatures that guarantee that no bacteria or fungus can survive, so the product remains totally sterile until mixed with soil. Applying directly by hand to the soil or planting area will not put the operative at any microbiological risk.

Top Dressing for potted and border plants:

The coarse Forest-Char (Biochar) product is ideal for top dressing the plants. It allows the moisture to penetrate past the top dressing and retain the water in the soil beneath. It also acts as a deterent to snails and slugs because the sharp edges and surfaces of the small biochar pieces dry out the slime produced making it difficult for the molluscs to travel over the surface and create a natural barrier to slug invasion in wet weather.

The coarse product is an ideal replacement for water control agents in the soil of hanging baskets and other water limited environments.

The attractive dark colour readily absorbs the heat from the sun so it promotes the growth of the plant by reflecting the heat back up from the surface.

Recommended Usage Rates:

Typically 250gm to 350gm per square metre is sufficient but successive yearly use where the residual is buried promotes the effects even further until 10% of all the top soil layer is carbon.

Peat and Soil based Compost

A blend of two parts soil to one part Forest-Char (Biochar) will produce an excellent top soil suitable for most planting applications requiring general feeding conditions.

Blending equal parts of Fibrous Coconut Coir or other fibrous materials with Forest-Char (Biochar) will replace many peat based applications, especially when placed with soil and natural sources of nutrients to provide a typical garden compost or bagged fertiliser.