Re: Terra Preta
- If wood has actually burned down to pure charcoal, it melts when it gets wet, or breaks up in the soil quickly. Big chunks of wood unburnt get eaten by pill bugs and other critters, eventually, but it's best to sift out the big chunks, if you don't want so many bugs.
Ashes are useful, too, in small quantity if the soil is alkaline, like ours, they do add potash useful for root health.
Cedar (our native juniper scrub) burns down really quick. We've been under a burn ban for years, now, so all the cedar we clear is going to mulch and landscape logs to build terraces on the hillside. My back acre is beginning to look like China, pretty cool. Our neighbors who burned all the cedar they cleared from their hills have got terrible erosion, what little soil there was has washed into the creek, leaving lots of bare rock, while ours is thick with grass and wildflowers.
~Traveler in Thyme, Texas Hill Country, zone 8-9
(I sign my posts with 2 zones, because they meet in my yard)