It’s called Picón, and it’s volcanic ash from the eruptions here in the 18th and 19th centuries. You’ll find it everywhere around volcanoes here. Most commonly, it’s black, but you can get a red version from areas like Montaña Roja in Playa Blanca.
Why is it used when growing stuff?
Putting a layer of picón on the soil when planting has several benefits:
It prevents soil erosion
With our incredibly dry climate and steady breezes, soil very quickly turns to dust here, and is then blown away! The weight of the picón prevents this happening.
It acts as a weed barrier
A healthy layer of picón stops weeds poking through, and makes it easy to spot and pull them out before they get established.
It helps keep moisture in the soil
Simply having a layer on top of the soil reduces it’s direct read more »