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Terra Preta

What is Terra Preta?

The famous Terra Preta black soil is one of the most fertile soils in the world and comes originally from the Amazon region. It was created there around the settlements of indigenous people who fermented solid excrement using charcoal and lactic acid bacteria. After this had been composted, it was spread on the areas of the rainforest used for cultivating crops. This has resulted in highly fertile soil in the region to this day. It is not too difficult to make this in your own garden.

Read our hints and tips for making Terra Preta soil for your garden.


Making Terra Preta soil from kitchen waste

Dosage for 20 litres of kitchen waste

  • Compost starter solution (diluted 1:10 with water)
  • 1 kg RoPro Streu
  • ZeoBas (rock dust)

Add a handful of RoPro Streu and a little ZeoBas to every layer of fresh kitchen waste in the Bokashi home compost bin and then sprinkle it with compost starter solution. As soon as the container is full, put the contents into a location that is protected from the rain, ideally a compost bin that is open at the base.

When the compost bin is full, compress the contents and seal the bin. Leave to mature until no organic matter is visible (around 6 months).

TIP: You can collect the organic waste that you produce in the meantime in a second compost bin.

Using Terra Preta

Once the Terra Preta is mature, the bin can be uncovered and the soil used.

The high-quality, nutrient-rich black soil can then simply be spread in strips onto beds, pots or boxes or dug into the earth. It is important to use the correct quantities. Plants that require high levels of nutrients (such as cucumbers and pumpkins) need a larger quantity than plants that do not use high levels of nutrients (such as herbs and peas).