Layering Biochar in Compost Bins or Piles

Erin Rasmussen

From Biochar Merchants, some great tips for using Biochar in your Compost Bin or pile.


  1. For a new pile or bin, start with a layer of biochar to catch nutrients from the compost bin that would normally seep into the ground with normal water flow
  2. Add 12 inches (or a decimeter) of compostable materials, e.g. yard waste, kitchen cuttings, egg shells, coffee grounds, etc. - alternate 'greens' and 'browns' and make sure that the particle size is fairly small -about an inch or two or less in size.
  3. Add a layer of biochar (no more than 1/2 inch)
  4. Keep building the compost as normal
  5. Keep in mind, that turning the compost and keeping it moist but not too wet will help change it into the magical dark fertile compost we love.

Also go to the Biochar Merchants web site for more Soil Building articles:

Some good reasons to compost with Biochar

  • Biochar is a compost accelorator, the chunks of char allows air flow and microbe movement within the pile.
  • Nutrients from the compost soaks into the empty spaces of the char, creating great habitat for beneficial microbes
  • Rinsing and aging the char improves the biochar in addition to allowing the char to help the compost retain more of its nutrients.