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3 recipes for using biochar in compost

Create some fertile, nutrient dense goodness of your own with biochar by Char Bro Limited

Turbocharged cold composting

biochar used in a compost pile



  • 2 parts fruit and vegetable scraps, leaves or grass clippings, plastic labels removed

Browns / blacks

  • 4 parts tree mulch, untreated wood chips, untreated sawdust or cardboard (cellotape and glues removed)
  • 1-2 parts biochar


  1. Set up a container to keep the compost pile together. Pallets or a cylinder made from reinforcing steel mesh work well
  2. Stack your compost in thin layers according to the ratio above, repeating until you have finished your ingredients. 
  3. Alternatively, spread out greens in thin layers into your compost pile, and cover with browns and biochar in according to the ratio above.
  4. Cover the compost pile with a waterproof lid or tarpaulin
  5. Water with non-chlorinated water as required to so that when it's squeezed it's damp but not dripping with water when you squeeze it
  6. Your compost is ready when the bottom is a nice dark chocolate brown. It usually smells quite pleasant and will probably be full of worms 

 Important notes

You do not need to turn compost piles which have regular layers of biochar and are less than 2m by 2m, unless you're aiming to eliminate weed seeds. If this is your aim, you will need to follow a hot composting method. In that case, you may be better off stockpiling ingredients until you have enough to make a 1.5m by 1.5m by 1.5m hot compost pile and ensuring that when you turn, all the outside edges are brought to the centre of the pile to get hot enough to kill the seeds 

Composting your manure and barn litter pile

child in barn with goat over biochar barn litter pile


  • 2 parts biochar
  • 2 parts fresh manure from sheep or cattle
  • 3 parts used animal barn waste / litter


Set up a container to keep the compost pile together. Pallets or a cylinder made from reinforcing steel work well - see video below. 

Stack your compost in thin layers according to the ratio above, repeating until you have finished your ingredients. Compost made this way with biochar does not need to be turned unless you want to make sure that there are no remaining viable weed seeds in your finished

Leave for a few months to mature.

We like the Johnson Su method.

The Royal Treatment

girl using a pineapple like a crown

Head over to the Compost CollectiveCarboncycle and Wastebusters

for in-depth lessons on how to make compost in NZ conditions. You can
substitute up to 50% of browns with biochar for an even more epic,
fertile mix.

Compost Support and Sourcing Compost Ingredients

Check out these great resources to get your compost going well!

Other composting resources

Char Bro has biochar for sale in Auckland. Biochar in compost or garden soil from biochar as a growing media helps to add soil for garden beds and grow seeds and plants Auckland, NZ and reverse climate change. Biochar NZ helps with transplanting plants and mix in with sustainable seed raising mix Auckland, New Zealand for extended growing seasons. 


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