Do you have a fire pit or fireplace?
If yes, what do you do with the remaining charcoal after using any of the two? My guess is that you gather it up and throw it away.
After reading this article, you’re going to want your charcoal back because what you’ll discover today will blow your mind.
What is Charcoal?
Charcoal is the black carbon residue you get after heating wood (or other plant and animal materials) in an oxygen-restricted environment. As it burns, wood releases all the water and sap and neutralizes toxins. What is left behind is pure ash, carbon and potassium.
There are different types of charcoals like activated charcoal, which has a lot of health benefits, and charcoal briquette, which is great for outdoor cooking.
But today, I’ll be talking about the common charcoal you get after heating wood without additives.
Uses Of Charcoal
Charcoal consists of carbon, which is essential for making high-quality compost. When building your compost, toss in some charcoal with every layer of material you put in. Doing that will help disperse nutrients and break down material.
If you have acidic components in your compost like pineapple and lemon peels, the charcoal will help neutralize the PH levels. What’s even more astonishing is that charcoal absorbs most gases that your compost will produce, making your compost “greener.”
The heap will need some extra water in the beginning because charcoal will, true to its nature, absorb everything it can.
The upside is that it will release moisture into the compost when it becomes hot, which keeps the composting process going.
Just remember that for the microorganisms to be efficient at their job, your heap will need water, oxygen, and food from the biomass.
Because of the high potassium content, charcoal acts as an excellent soil conditioner and is a quality replacement for lime in soil additives. Sterile charcoal is an incredible soil amendment when mixed with different soil types.
• When you add it to sandy soil, the nutrient retention, moisture, and particle aggregation will improve, and erosion will reduce.
• When you add it to clay soil, drainage, workability, and air circulation will improve.
• In all soils, compaction will reduce, and they will become healthier, delivering healthier crops, vegetables, and plants.
Neutralize Soil Poisons
Some trees, like walnut trees, produce toxic hormones that get into the soil by leaves that wither and fall to the ground. If you want to plant anything around these trees, they will die.
To neutralize the soil poisons, you should add charcoal to the soil to absorb the poison before planting anything.
Pesticide Removal and Cleanup
The absorption qualities of charcoal make it ideal for neutralizing the harmful effects of pesticides.
Because activated charcoal has finer particles than common charcoal, it would be advisable that you use it for pesticide cleanup. If you don’t have it, you can crush the common one into smaller particles and use it.
Mix one pound of charcoal in a gallon of water and use it to treat pesticide build-up in about 100-150 square feet of soil. If the affected area is more than 150 square feet, you should consider spraying all over the place.
You don’t always need plant material to mulch. You can use charcoal, which can be just as effective, if not more.
Charcoal mulch creates a protective covering over the surface area of the soil while preventing moisture from evaporating, precluding the growth of weeds in the process. Using charcoal mulch around light-colored plants helps to highlight the colors and gives your garden a fresh and unique look.
Organic Insect Killer
If scientific reports are to go by, natural powdered charcoal is extremely deadly to soft shell invertebrates like termites, ants, beetles, and snails.
Sprinkling this powder around your garden will get rid of most pests without leaving behind any toxic residue. As it rains, make sure you add a fresh supply of this powder because rainwater dilutes the elements in the charcoal.
Some homesteaders in rural areas without electricity keep fruit and vegetable produce for weeks using an energy-free charcoal chamber. This chamber helps reduce the spoilage rate and allows more time to sell the perishables by maintaining low temperatures.
Warmth causes food to spoil, with ripe tomatoes having a four-day life expectancy. Placing your tomato in a charcoal chamber can boost its shelf life by more than 30 days.
Charcoal is a poor conductor of heat, and it has absorption properties that prevent heat from passing through, thereby keeping the enclosure air cool. The energy-free cooler can keep vegetables and fruits to remain fresh for several weeks.
If your homestead is in a rural area, having a charcoal cooler will benefit you as it will help increase the lifespan of your produce, reducing food waste.
Keep Air Fresh
When you burn wood, it becomes porous, giving it the ability to soak up any chemicals, nutrients, and smells in the surrounding area.
Have any smell in your oven, basement, storeroom, cellar, or fridge?
• Get a plastic bottle and add pieces of charcoal to it.
• Close the bottle and perforate it with a couple of holes.
• Place the bottle at the smelly place to absorb unwanted, funky aromas, leaving the area smelling fresh and clean.
Be sure to keep the bottle out of reach of children and pets.
Mixing animal feed with a bit of charcoal helps to improve the health and productivity (conversion of feed into milk or meat) of the animal.
Use activated charcoal or crush charcoal pieces and add the powder in small quantities to livestock feed to absorb and remove toxins and greenhouse gases. Instead of expelling greenhouse gases, the charcoal will absorb the harmful methane that the animals produce and dispose of it as manure. The elements in the manure then help to amend and give nutrients to the soil.
Many homesteaders’ concern about feeding their animals charcoal is that they might overuse it, which allows livestock to tolerate low-quality feed.
Keep Tools Clean and Rust-Free
Sprinkle some charcoal wherever you store your hammers and nails. Thanks to its moisture absorption properties, the lump will keep your gear rust-free.
This also applies to garden tools. Place some chucks at the bottom of where you store your tools to absorb the moisture and keep the metal from oxidizing. They will remain keener and shinier.
So which use of charcoal interests you the most? Leave a comment down below.
You may also like: