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Using Biochar as a soil amendment

vegetable-soil-improver
Planting using biochar

What is soil made from?

Soil carries out a range of functions and services without which human life would not be possible. It provides an environment for plants (including food crops and timber wood) to grow in, by anchoring roots and storing nutrients. It filters and cleans our water and helps prevent natural hazards such as flooding. It contains immense levels of biodiversity. Finally, it is the largest terrestrial store of carbon, and therefore helps to regulate the climate.

Soil structure refers to the arrangement of solids and pore spaces within soil. Solids, formed from organic compounds and mineral ions clump together to form aggregates. The gaps between these aggregates are the pore spaces. A ‘well-structured soil’ will have a continuous network of pore spaces to allow drainage of water, free movement of air and unrestricted growth of roots. Typically, a ‘good’ soil is thought to consist of around 50% solids, 25% air and 25% water, but this will vary according to soil type.

How does biochar work as a Soil Improver?

In order to answer this, we first have to explain what biochar actually is.

Biochar is essentially a pure charcoal which is baked with little or no oxygen and can be made from a variety of different feedstocks. Our biochar is made from a trialled and tested combination of differing types of FSC certified woody feedstocks and particle sizes which enables the pores in the biochar to function as channels for natural biology, nutrients, air and water.

Biochar has many benefits which include:

  • Improved water holding capacity
  • Increased vegetable and plant growth
  • Breaks up compacted soil
  • Refugia for natural soil biology
  • Reduces water run off in compacted soils
  • Improves nutrient retention in soil
  • Locks carbon in the soil for centuries
  • Offsets your carbon footprint (1kg of biochar sequesters 3kg of carbon dioxide)

 

Looking at biochar under a microscope
allotment using biochar

Can I use raw biochar in my garden or allotment?

Biochar acts like a sponge when it is first put in the ground and sucks in all the beneficial natural biology and nutrients in the surrounding area, so will take time to have a positive effect (3 – 6 months) to your soil.

This is why all of our organically approved products are pre-enriched, so they can be used immediately as a soil improver.

Where can I purchase biochar in the UK?

Carbon Gold enriched Biochar products are available directly from this website, or from one of our valued stockists.

For more information on how biochar can be used in your garden or business, contact us today

Organic Gardening
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