Share The Seeds

Gardening Area => Advanced Cultivation Techniques => Topic started by: BrownThumb on April 29, 2017, 06:25:21 am

Title: biochar
Post by: BrownThumb on April 29, 2017, 06:25:21 am
There was a mention of this here a few years ago, but have not seen anything deeper.  I had a close friend who was an economics professor and also politcal.  He told me about Biochar to improve soil.  There is a wikipage on it and some recent scientific blurbs going around now.  The UN and others are backing it as a way to sequester Carbon into the soil and out of the atm.

Really it is just powdered charcoal.  We have lots of 'biomass' all the time.  I decided to try making some and do a side by side comparison with and w/out to see how well it works...if at all.

I sank an old galvanized hopper into the ground about 300 mm and just started burning any woody stuff I could find.

I would like to insert some phots here but i don't know how to do that


anyway after a few hours when the fire burns down to embers and there is no or little flame, I shoveled some earth on top to smoother and left it over night.  The next day I shoveled out the char and used a post mall to crush the charcoals...although I still need a better way.  Ideally it would be a fine powder.

I will do the best I can and see if there is a notable improvement with plant growth and flowering

There is some evidence that the microscopic carbon particles improve electron transfer but how that relates to plant health I still don't understand...if it really does.  but i am keen to find out and will update you as i go.

Here is a paper on it:
Title: Re: biochar
Post by: MadPlanter on April 29, 2017, 11:50:03 am
The major thing with biocar is that at first it may rob the soil of nitrogen because the carbon matrix of the charcoal is very porous. However once the carbon fills itself with nutrients it will release them back into the soil where the roots are. Soaking your charcoal in compost tea first will help to offset that occurance in the soil.

As far as sequestering carbon dioxide it is true but to do so you must also create an oxygen sink since the carbon will try to pull in compounds to stabilize itself. I've heard if the world as a whole went biocar crazy it could actually be a bad thing. However on an individuals scale this is no worry and is seemingly an effect way to hold nutrition in the soil.
Title: Re: biochar
Post by: nobody on April 29, 2017, 12:18:52 pm
It seems the best way is to add fresh compostable material to the biochar when preparing the ground.

Title: Re: biochar
Post by: FewTrueSeed on April 29, 2017, 01:35:12 pm
When you are creating the biochar the oxygen wihin the barel must be cut down conciterably so that it burns slowly. Air intake valve and a chimney stack are very important. Simply burning will not do. I would stick to composting. Or practice agroforestry in your garden. Cheak out Agenda Gotsch.
Title: Re: biochar
Post by: BrownThumb on April 29, 2017, 06:38:29 pm
Thanks for the tips.  I'll mix a batch with compost.  I've never been satisfied with my soil so I'll try things like this until I get the kinds of plant development i'm looking for. 
Title: Re: biochar
Post by: Solipsis on July 24, 2019, 02:20:11 pm
Another aspect of biochar can be the formation of karrikins which can help seeds germinate and I guess influence growth. Doesnt seem to work for all types of plants though.

But you can easily make it from just burning paper or wood kind of slowly.
Smoke water is also used because the karrikins are supposed to be in the smoke and dissolve in water, or precipitate on residue material.
Title: Re: biochar
Post by: geezer on July 25, 2019, 02:34:23 am
I did some side by side testing in my garden with biochar.

Can't say I saw a noticeable increase in productivity but there's a noticeable difference in the moisture of the soil in the biochar side.

This is two full years after putting it in the garden

for what it's worth.....
Title: Re: biochar
Post by: ONandONandON on July 26, 2019, 07:13:20 am
It seems the best way is to add fresh compostable material to the biochar when preparing the ground.

what i was gonna say something like that, lol

Title: Re: biochar
Post by: Mark_Antony on November 15, 2019, 05:14:04 am
Some people use the cone method its a lot more simple and all you need is a shovel and wood

ps this channel is worth looking into he does a lot of aquaponics/hydroponics too and shows how to (activate) charcoal and make it even more porous in another one of his videos