The Benefits of Biochar: What, How, Why

The Quick Run Down

Biochar benefits our soil, plants, and our atmosphere in a variety of ways.


  • Increases moisture holding capacity
  • Improves nutrient retention
  • Improves microbial activity


  • Reduce transplant shock
  • Improves pest and disease resistance
  • Root development


  • Isolates carbon
  • Reduces CO2 in the air
  • Alternative to burning or landfill

What is Biochar?

Biochar is a fine-grained charcoal made from heating biomass (pyrolysis) such as wood, manure, or crop residues, also known as organic matter, with little to no oxygen.

Biochar is found naturally in soils around the world as a result of vegetation fires.

How Does it Work?

When biochar is mixed with organic matter such as compost, it helps to create a living soil with a diverse microbial population. Having an active microbial population in the soil benefits plants.

Because biochar has a large surface area, it helps hold onto water molecules. Mixing a biochar compost mix into your garden soil will help your soil have greater water retention. This makes it a great application to raised beds, or areas in the landscape with poor soil.

Growing plants in soil that is rich in organic matter, with the added qualities of biochar, can result in having larger root mass, better resistance to pests and disease, greater drought tolerance, and more vigorous overall health and growth.

Why does Carbon Sequestration Matter?

We invite you to read  Carbon Sequestration 101, a simple explanation by Kellogg Garden Products about this valuable process that many scientists believe has the power to slow climate change.

When biochar is applied to soil it sequesters carbon for centuries, reducing the overall amount of atmospheric CO2 by removing it from the active cycle.

What You Can Find at Shonnard’s!

G&B Organics Eden Valley Blend Garden Soil with BiocharMax™ – 1.5 cu. ft.

An expertly blended garden soil for planting flowers & vegetables in flower beds or gardens.

G&B Organics Eden Valley Blend Potting Soil with BiocharMax™ – 1.5 cu. ft.

This mix is the perfect solution for indoor containers or outdoor potting, container planting, hanging baskets & raised beds. It is a gentle enough mix that can also be used for seed starting and propagation.