Biochar’s unique combination of characteristics make it an excellent soil amendment. It is a black, fine-grained, lightweight and highly porous form of carbon akin to charcoal. Biochar is created by heating biomass to high temperature in a low oxygen environment. This process is called pyrolysis. Almost any biomass can be used but typical feedstocks include wood and plant matter. Production of biochar results is carbon sequestration as carbon is locked away in the soil for centuries. This means biochar has the potential to help mitigate global warming and climate change.
Approximately 70 percent of its composition is carbon, which makes it a very pure form of carbon. The bonds between carbon atoms are strong and difficult to break down which means biochar is stable, long-lived and resistant to weathering and decomposition by microbial communities. It is therefore typically a one-time application.
Biochar enhances overall soil structure enabling plants to develop strong and healthy root systems. Its highly porous structure acts as a sponge for water and nutrients, providing a home for beneficial microbes and fungi which improve soil fertility and crop yield. High water/nutrient retention means less watering and less fertiliser leaching.
Biochar can be used all year round and with any soil type. It is suitable for trees, flowers, fruit and vegetables. Biochar needs to be ‘charged’ with water and nutrients before adding to the soil. We recommend either adding biochar to your compost bin/heap (for next year) or applying to the soil in combination with compost and manure.
We recommend adding 0.6kg of biochar (~30 handfuls) per metre squared per year. If using a charged biochar/compost mix you will need to adjust your calculation based on the ratio between biochar and compost. You are aiming to build-up the amount of biochar in the soil slowly over time, with the long-term aim of getting to ~5% of biochar in the soil rootzone. The rootzone is generally considered to be the top 20 cm of soil. Target 5% built-up over a number of years.
You might also be interested in our sister product Black Bear Biochar Compost which is ‘Fully Charged’ with high quality, well-rotted compost and nutrients.
Free delivery to the UK.