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Biochar

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by heritage, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    How many of you are using this or making your own?

    Pete
     
  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,116

    we make a couple different kinds, we strerilize the char and then grow different beneficial microorganisms out on the media. One of the things we have found over the last couple years is "less is more" too much char actually stunts growth and germination, it is also best to inoculate it before it is applied
     
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I had the same experience with the stunting of growth, when using lots of char... the biggest problem is busting up actual wood char and getting it to soak up water...
    Leaning towards the commercial briquettes for lawns, but I don't really know what is in those things...
     
  4. Barefoot James

    Barefoot James LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 984

    So how do you inoculate? Bill is your biochar already inoculated?
     
  5. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,116

    Yes it is inoculated with different teams of microbes and different metobolic triggers

    for instance there is an excellent nitrogen fixer (in trials we are getting 40 lbs of N per acre, for free) which, when triggered with the right compound, also produces Auxin, a rooting hormone, if you throw our Rhiz-O-Char hydrochar in a hydro seeder by the time the seed germinates the soil is producing Auxin, which facilitates a larger root mass and gets the seedling off to an excellent start

    we had a golf course mix it into their divot mix and really liked the results, the trouble came when the put it in the divot boxes on the tees, in 3 or 4 days the seed had germinated, can you say ch ch ch chia pet

    we have several golf courses that hydro seed after disturbing areas and do not use chemical fertilizers anymore

    1 pound treats an acre
    we also have an ericasious mix for that species (it is used in organic blueberry production) and a hydroponic mix, the trials have been going on for over a year and they have never had to fertilize the plants, pretty cool

    char is an excellent media for microbes, we call it the "carbon condo", they also use their condo for food and to increase colony numbers, if you think about compost teas and how the microbes have to immediately compete with the ones that are already there, that is not the case when using inoculated char, the microbes are well fed and relatively safe form others, they can get their colony numbers relatively quickly without competition
     
  6. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    Look around for "lump charcoal". Mostly it's just the charcoal with no additives.
     
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    That is what I've done...

    Of course pulverizing that stuff is a real problem... That is what I'm working on now... Pulverizing and innoculating chunks of burnt wood that really have no intention of becoming water-logged or cooperative in any fashion.

    Rather, they intend to be dried, dusty critters that fight you every step of the way... :)
     

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