Another Char Thread

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Smallaxe, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    "A five-year study at Delaware State University, which wrapped up in 2008, found that adding charcoal to the soil can increase its fertility for a long time. The researchers heated different sources of organic matter such as manure and wood to make a biochar material. When added to the soil, this material traps nutrients and makes it possible for farmers to use fewer chemical fertilizers. This study was based on the terra preta found in the Amazon jungle."
    Read more:

    This is only one paragraph from an e-how article that kind of introduces the subject to people who may not have otherwise been aware of it...
    For the course of the winter I'm back to experimenting with char as a potting soil mix that will remain fertile and moist w/out constant care for houseplants...

    Has anyone with sandy soils thought about adding inoculated char as an amendment? for lawns??
    Has anyone heard of a simple quick and efficient way of pulverizing Charcoal???
    I've always heard that using commercial 'briquettes' is not advisable because of toxins in them, but I've never saw a list of ingredients. Does anyone know anything about that???
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Just in case there are interested parties out there here is another look from another perspective:

    "When wood or similar organic materials are heated at high temperatures in the absence of air, you get charcoal instead of ashes. Charcoal is a stable, highly porous material containing many of the nutrients of the organic matter from which it was made. When added to the soil, it increases the capacity for retention of plant nutrients and beneficial soil microbes by reducing the leaching of those essentials into ground water. Charcoal's low density also lightens heavy clay soils--promoting root growth and improving drainage and aeration. Additionally, charcoal acts similarly to lime as a pH buffer for acidic soils."
    Read more: How to Enrich Soils With Charcoal | Garden Guides

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