Biochar

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Suella 4 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #37393

    charles
    Moderator

    Thanks for these interesting comments. I was given “Grochar” to experiment with, it’s claimed to be charged with mycorrhizal fungi. But the results were disappointing.
    I found Patrick’s video and thanks for that Hawfinch, it’s 11 minutes and well worth watching. He has reached many of the same conclusions I advise in my writing and films.

    #37496

    Suella
    Participant

    Charles and all,
    Here is a reference to the printed article quotted in the first post.
    http://www.merfield.com/research/2011/Biochar–the-need-forprecaution-2011-Merfield.pdf

    The discussion has been interesting. I noted Monty Don using something black from a big with his potting sometime in later 2016. He didn’t comment and I wondered what it was. Didn’t ask, so don’t know for sure.
    I’ll have a look at Northumbria Biochar. and see if it may be better for me.

    #37500

    Mark
    Participant

    Hi everyone – sorry about the silence – holiday season got in the way. Monty Don was certainly using biochar on Gardeners’ World – from the look of the container – it was Carbon Gold product – which seems to be sourced from Namibia. Initially we did our trials with uncharged biochar – and we had some good results – but this year we will be trying both ways. We sell uncharged Biochar so people an add it to their compost, or mix it with their own supplements, and this year we are looking to sell it charged as well. They do say that the first 8% improvement by biochar has the greatest effect, and the extra benefits are a wider variety of homes for microbes in the soil, extra water and feed retention, and also the fact that you are locking carbon into the soil for well over 50 years. we have not yet achieved the terra preta, but biochar is a way of working towards it. I am afraid we do not have a website yet – we are passionate about it, but do not have investors behind us – so growing at our won speed, but one of our focuses is using waste material from local woodland management. We have a FB page, and we are happy to send out samples for people to trial, on the basis that you let us know how you get on. I will read through other comments here and answer where I can

    #37501

    Mark
    Participant

    Also biochar is very different to wood chip – as it has been charred, so will not mulch/deteriorate so quickly. I use woodchip (from our tree work) as a mulch on paths, but not on beds.

    #37503

    charles
    Moderator

    It’s a big subject!
    Thanks Suella for the link, it’s most interesting.
    One thing I notice is that Merfield does not define biochar, though I guess he (and everyone else) mean it’s impregnated with microbes e.g. from fungi. Otherwise we are simply discussing charcoal and why not call it that Mark, rather than uncharged biochar? At least you are clear that it is uncharged.

    “Locking carbon into soil” – so? Merfiled’s point is valid for me, that burning the wood has removed a lot of goodness. Composted wood chip is surely better value, as practiced by Iain Tolhurst.

    #37505

    Suella
    Participant

    Thanks for the Tolhurst link. Am looking for the complete report but the snippets I’ve read sound well worth pursuing. I wonder what the management differences are with using woodchip that has been composted for 18 months. It is mentioned but not t explained.

    Wood chip is easier to get here than spent brewery stuff for composting, alas. I’ll have to buy in mushroom compost as well.

    #37521

    Suella
    Participant

    For what it is worth, here is a report on how Sweden seems to be using old Christmas trees to produce a form of Biochar. Currently it seems to h ave several advocatesm there and in the US.

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/01/04/sweden-recycle-christmas-trees.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art2&utm_campaign=20170104Z2&et_cid=DM130044&et_rid=1826220815

    But the proof of the pudding is in our usage of products we can get in the UK.

    Looking forward to find out more.
    Suella

    #42861

    Suella
    Participant

    Mark,
    Are those samples still available please? Happy to pay for postage/carriage.

    Suella

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