Biochar

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by Isay Willow, Oct 31, 2016.

  1. Isay Willow

    Isay Willow Just Hatched

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    Does anyone make biochar? So how do you make it? I make some and use Barrows only end up making about 12 to 15 gallons each time I make some. Would like to learn different ways getting more bang for time and work invested.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I have read info re: making it, and am interested in the benefit to a garden. I find myself wondering how it is any different than the little nuggets of wood coal that get removed from the wood stove ash bin. Several years ago, we tried to burn 2 huge slash piles. They only partially burned b/c the wood was so massive, still not completely dry, and there was a lot of soil mixed in. I'm now cutting up some of those charred logs and incorporating them into my hugelkulture mound. I'm looking forward to doing a comparison of how the charred wood sections compare to the non charred areas. The original method of making it is to do so right in the garden. Dig a trench, line it with your material to be burned. (even weedy debris) get the fire going and once it's going throughout your pile, heap lots of soil on it to cut O2 and slow the burn so it stops at the black nugget stage instead of going to the ash stage.

    I have a thread on unconventional gardening methods. I'd love to have you join that thread, post your methods and results.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ure-and-other-non-conventional-garden-methods
     
  3. Isay Willow

    Isay Willow Just Hatched

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    The only difference in and fire place or wood burning stove is that you do not get the heat required to char your wood and you get a lot more ash. One would have to remember that wood ash has a lot of lime in it and if too much is used around acid loving plants you will have a problem with production and growth of plants. you would have to add sulphur to lower P H or some other acid. Once wood is charged it retains moisture and nutrients. Do not use uncharged biochar it will rob your plants of food until it is charged. Mix char in your compost fond let set for a couple of months then apply to garden. I for myself use a homemade liquid fertilizer to charge my char.
     
  4. Isay Willow

    Isay Willow Just Hatched

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    To add to my char commit I char leaves, limbs, bones anything that grows. After Matthew went through we have been making char at least three times a week to get rid of the mess he left behind. Still have another week or two the get things cleaned up. How ever we are getting more char than we thought we would. I will charge it then put in the garden.
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    What do you mean by charging? Can you direct me to a good article, or post a link here. I do understand that the high carbon nature of the char holds nutrients very well. So, I assume that is what you are talking about, or perhaps getting it inoculated with beneficial bacteria and fungi??? Did you say you are making it in your wheelbarrow? More info please! Perhaps some pics???
     
  6. Isay Willow

    Isay Willow Just Hatched

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    The word Inoculated you used is much better than the word Charged. I try different things and one of the best so far is using the liquid from a bio digester That I made just for the liquid it produces. Some results have been great and some will be spring time before the results will be known. I started making bio char this past summer and applied about 30 gallons to a 10 X 20 area and tilled it in just before Matthew hit and the soil is still very wet. The plot is on the side of a hill and we have not had any rain after Matthew. I do know it holds lots of water plus fertilizer. This is sandy soil on average 3 ft deep.
     
  7. Isay Willow

    Isay Willow Just Hatched

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    I do not have enough replys to be allowed to send URL's as soon as I do I will send you some links to videos and written reports.
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    TY.
     
  9. Isay Willow

    Isay Willow Just Hatched

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    One thing that is helpful in charing try and use wood that is 4 inches in diameter if possible and start fire on top of wood. As said earlier I use 50 gal drums. That way I have control of fire and once fire is burning good hot coals fall to the bottom and start fire and biochar process it gets hot enough to force gas out of wood and as that gas burns it increases the process. It is creating a faster process. I have not tried it in a trench but believe I will and see how it turns out. I will use same process as I use in the drums.
     
  10. Isay Willow

    Isay Willow Just Hatched

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    This is the sit that has the best video for bio char





    hope you enjoy these
     

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