Biochar, which is a high-carbon form of charcoal, is an excellent means of capturing and storing carbon. So effective at carbon capture and storage is this plant-based charcoal that one tonne of carbon stored away in biochar can remove the equivalent of three tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. No wonder so many markets have started to trade in soil sequestration biochar credits!
However, biochar is not only an excellent means of carbon capture and storage, as it’s used extensively for improving the quality of soil used to grow food. In fact, there is evidence to confidently claim that some ancient Amazonian tribes produced and used a primitive form of biochar to increase the fertility of the soil in which they grew their crops.
How Biochar Improves Soil Dynamics and Quality
Biochar improves the dynamics and, therefore, the quality of soil in a number of ways, which is why is it used extensively in a variety of commercial and residential gardening, crop growing and horticultural activities. It achieves this by:
- Altering the physical nature of the soil and stabilising relative soil humidity
- Reducing soil acidity, accelerating decomposition and reducing leaching
- Increasing soil and nutrient absorption and improving cation exchange capacity
This helps to accelerate root growth in crops and plants and increases their vitality, which in turn means they require less additional nutrients and irrigation. Moreover, it also increases microbial populations in the soil and improves flowering while reducing vegetative leaf. This means less maintenance which translates into more cost-effective crop growing and gardening.
Ideal for Commercial Growers and Home Gardeners
Biochar soil improvement products are ideal for commercial growers (propagation, protected cropping and field scale production) as well as home gardeners. Carbon Gold’s range of soil improver products is enriched with mycorrhizal fungi species, actinomyces bacteria and trace elements and can be used in a number of ways. This includes:
- Adding to seed or propagating compost
- Adding to top soil as a soil improver
- Top-dressing established shallow rooted plants
Additionally, these biochar soil improvement products can also be used to accelerate the process of making compost, and it also proves highly beneficial when planting out plants, shrubs and trees as it helps to minimise the shock plants often experience due to transplanting.
Additionally, for both commercial growers and home gardeners, biochar soil improvement products assist with aeration and drainage in clay soils by breaking up the dense, tightly compacted soil to allow roots access to nutrients that they would otherwise be unable to reach. This results in plants with increased vitality that are healthier and require less fertilisation and watering, which is highly beneficial for commercial growers with tight profit margins.
Whether you’re new to home gardening or an experienced commercial grower, you’ll find that biochar soil improvement products offer a number of excellent benefits that not only enable you to improve the quantity and quality of your crops and plants, but also help to reduce your carbon footprint. With agriculture the number one contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, that’s something we should all take note of.