How to Use Biochar in Your Garden (Amazing Benefits)


If you don’t know what biochar is or aren’t sure about how it can benefit your plants Well, then stick around as I discuss how to use biochar in your garden Hi, I’m Gardener Scott and I think biochar simply is amazing. I’ve been using it for over 10 years and I’ve actually worked with two different biochar companies to do field trials. And in all cases It’s made my plants grow better and improved my soil. But it’s very misunderstood and often unknown by many gardeners. Let’s begin by discussing just exactly what biochar is. It’s a type of black carbon and this is where some of the confusion arises because there are many other types of black carbon. Charcoal is probably the one that we’re most familiar with so many people think charcoal is the same as biochar. And scientifically speaking, there’s a lot of similarities, but for purposes of gardening biochar is a specific type of black carbon that is used specifically to sequester carbon and improve the soil. Here’s a piece of charcoal that I made using a process that you can often find on YouTube. And here’s a piece of biochar that I received from a biochar producer. They look virtually identical on the outside I made this charcoal using a process where I burn the wood and then quickly doused the fire and removed all the oxygen, resulting in this black carbon. Biochar is made with a process called pyrolysis. And during that pyrolysis processing almost all of the volatile gases and water is removed from this piece of biochar. That can’t be said for the charcoal. There’s still a lot of water in here and there’s actually a lot of volatile gases. When the volatile gases escape the biochar during pyrolysis what left behind is essentially a framework of pure carbon. Here’s a demonstration of that basic concept. Imagine that the charcoal is like a golf ball. There’s a lot of surface area in these dimples. But inside it’s not empty. There’s still moisture content and there’s still all those volatile gases and oils. Now, imagine that the biochar is the same size, but it’s a wiffle ball. There’s a lot of free space on the inside and a lot of big holes on the outside. Now let’s imagine that this wiffle ball is actually put inside of another wiffle ball and this wiffle ball is put inside of another wiffle ball. And we continue this process until that little piece of biochar has millions and millions of these holes that lead to other holes that lead to other holes. It’s not hollow. It’s a structure filled with open air spaces. And it’s this structure that is the primary reason why I think biochar is so amazing in the garden. Because each of these little holes can become a repository for beneficial soil bacteria and moisture and nutrients. So think of it like a little apartment complex with thousands upon thousands of apartments and each one is inviting in some bacteria that we would like to live in our soil, along with their furniture, which is the moisture levels that improve soil as well. And the nutrients… well, they’re in an apartment too, but maybe just down the hall. And so as we mix all this into our soil as an amendment. All of these little pieces of biochar are giving back to the soil amazing benefits You just don’t get that with the use of charcoal. Charcoal can benefit the soil structure in some ways. But it doesn’t have the amazing benefits of biochar. The term biochar was first used in scientific literature in 1988, but it really wasn’t until 2009 that it really started becoming known and gardeners started using it. That’s about the time period that I partnered with that New Jersey biochar company for some field trials. At the time it was very difficult to find and it was even harder to find anyone that knew what it was. Now you can order it by the bucket online. And you might even be able to find it in your local nursery. There’s also been a lot of peer-reviewed research to show the benefits of biochar along with some problems that might arise. So if you want to learn more, there’s a lot of information out there that you can find. My trials and other research have shown that seeds will germinate quicker in biochar soil. The plants will grow faster. They’ll put flowers on earlier. And that means you’ll be able to harvest sooner in biochar soil which can be important for a region like mine that has a relatively short growing season. But there aren’t any studies to show that the fruit tastes any different. It’s not necessarily better tasting fruit. It just comes from a healthier plant. Not all biochar is equal. Any biomass can be turned into biochar using pyrolysis. But that initial ingredient, that biomass, can be different which will give different attributes to the finished biochar. My friend Mike is my local source for biochar and he’s innovating the use of bones to make bone char. These are bones that would have been discarded from the cattle industry, but he’s allowing them to be reused as an important soil amendment for gardeners. Biochar is best for a poor soil or a soil that is moderate in nutrients and soil life. When you get to a really nice, lush, rich soil, biochar really doesn’t offer that many benefits, but if you’re trying to create good soil in your garden biochar is ideal because of all of the bacteria and the moisture and the nutrients that reside within the biochar. But there’s an important factor to be aware of when you use biochar. When you get your biochar, it’s probably going to be very dry. And that’s where the problem arises. It might be slightly moist, but probably not wet. And I won’t go into all the science about positive and negative charges within the biochar and the soil, but think of this as a sponge. It’s soaking in that moisture and it’s soaking up those nutrients because that’s what it does. If you put dry biochar into your soil you will be sucking out the moisture and the nutrients from your soil and that’s what my trials showed. I had different beds: the control bed with no biochar added, of course; the bed with compost and biochar; the bed with wet biochar; the bed with dry biochar; and a few other options as well. The bed that did the worst was the dry biochar. It was worse than just the bare soil that had no amendments in it. So when you get your biochar you have to make it ready for your soil you have to inoculate it. That’s also been called charging it or energizing it. And I’ll show you how I do that. We’re inoculating the biochar with microbes, all those beneficial organisms that are so great for our soil. And so I begin with my soil. This is my garden soil that’s teeming with life and I’m going to add this to the biochar. It’s all of the bacteria, all of those microorganisms that can already survive in my environment, and I’m just putting it into the biochar to help energize the biochar. I’m also using compost that comes from my own garden as well. It’s got all those microbes that I know will survive in my environment. I’ll mix this around to incorporate the soil and the compost with the biochar But it’s still dry biochar. All of these microbes need moisture to not only survive, but also thrive. And so this is really the most important step, is to add the moisture to the mix. Now, there’s an important thing to consider. You can just add regular water and that’s fine, because there should be enough of the microbes within the ingredients to populate the biochar, but if you can use worm tea, you’re also introducing all of the bacteria that’s in those worm castings. If you like to use compost tea, well then add compost tea to this mix as well and you’re introducing all of those microbes. If you have a fish aquarium and you need to clean it out, well, take that water from your aquarium and put it in here because there are amazing amounts of bacteria in aquarium water. Whatever it is, you need to completely submerge this mix. I really like to use comfrey tea when I energize my biochar. The comfrey tea not only has the microbes, but it’s loaded with nutrients. That all of this biochar just sucks up You can add molasses or syrup or some sugar based liquid at this point and that will boost the bacterial population, but with the addition of the compost and the garden soil that has some organic matter in it… I haven’t really noticed a difference if I add a sugar product that boosts the population, because once that sugar’s gone, they’re gonna run out of food. They need to focus on what’s in the soil. That’s what I’m trying to introduce. So with it all mixed, I’ll let this sit for about three days, longer is fine, and then I’ll start using it in my garden. There are a number of ways to incorporate biochar into your soil. My preferred method is to incorporate that biochar as you’re creating your bed, as you’re adding soil. For a raised bed as I’m adding my soil I’ll put a few layers of biochar in. When I get to about six inches from the top, I’ll spread biochar. Then I’ll add some more soil till I get to about three inches from the top and then I add another layer of biochar. And then I finish with that final layer of soil. That’s important because that three-inch and six-inch layer are exactly where the roots are growing. So as the seedlings or the seeds reach that point with their roots, the soil is already filled with all of those wonderful moisture, nutrient, and bacteria levels. I also do the same thing with mounded raised beds. As I add organic matter and the soil, I’ll add the layers of biochar to improve the whole thing. If you’ve just discovered biochar and your beds are already in place, it’s not too late. I prefer to do this in the fall, but you could easily do it any other time of year. On the surface of your bed, add your biochar. It works out to about 2 cups of biochar per every square foot. Most recommendations are for adding between half a pound to one pound of biochar to each square foot. Typically, because you’re going to buy biochar by the pound. After it’s in place, you just work it into the soil down to a depth of about six inches. If you want to add biochar to existing beds well, each time you add a plant or remove a plant just sprinkle some biochar at the bottom of the hole, and eventually you will have incorporated biochar through much of your bed. Another great way to incorporate biochar into your garden is to add biochar to your compost piles. As you’re layering the different ingredients, just add some extra layers of biochar. You don’t need to inoculate it ahead of time because the process of composting will introduce all those beneficial microbes to the biochar. And biochar can have a high pH. By putting it in the compost pile you help buffer that pH closer to neutral. When the compost with the biochar is done, add it to your garden as you normally would. My garden trials showed that that mix of compost and biochar actually caused the plants to grow better than any other combination. In areas of the garden that I plan to mulch heavily with woodchips I’ll put a layer of biochar down on the surface of the soil before I add that thick layer of the woodchips. And as they break down, They’ll automatically energize the biochar underneath and really help create a wonderful soil. Regardless of what method you use to get that biochar into your soil, you only have to do it once. This is a permanent amendment because it continues to give you those benefits year after year without decomposing, without breaking down. This has been shown in the famous Terra Preta region of the Amazon basin where hundreds of years ago farmers were creating essentially biochar in their soil to allow them to grow. If you use biochar, you’ll never have to replace it. It’ll be in your soil for as long as you garden. With the biochar in the soil, then the real magic takes place. It’s not just the individual particles of biochar that lead to the benefits. If you think about that biochar as those apartment complexes, well, imagine that a family resides in each of those apartments and as the family grows, well, those kids are going to move out. Where are those kids going to go? They’re going into the soil. The biochar is just the point that creates that infusion of bacteria and nutrients into the soil and it always holds that ability. But then it permeates the rest of the soil and those microbes continue to grow improving the entire mass. I’ve focused on the ability of biochar to retain the moisture, and the nutrients, and to increase microbial growth within the soil, but it can do a lot more. It greatly benefits and improves the soil structure. Those particles of biochar help reduce compaction and improve the oxygen levels within the soil. And other organisms that are crawling through the soil like earthworms, well, when they ingest and then digest the biochar, it retains its structure and it’s moved throughout the rest of the bed. This really is amazing stuff and something you should consider in your garden. If you have any comments or questions, please let me know. If you’d like to see more Gardener Scott videos, well, then subscribe to the Gardener Scott Channel and be sure to click on the bell, so you’re notified when new videos come out. If you like this video, well, then you can give me a thumbs up and share it. I’m Gardener Scott. Enjoy gardening.

72 thoughts on “How to Use Biochar in Your Garden (Amazing Benefits)

  1. You mentioned that not all biochar is equal, so what brand or where do we get quality biochar from? Does it matter organic or not organic?

  2. Hello. I really thank you for the info. I have heard of biochar. but have not done any studying on it. You have helped me understand more about it.

  3. What you say makes sense. I wonder how the worms will like it. Also, I have a small pond with a bacteria laden bottom. Maybe I can harvest some and mix it with biochar. It's worth a try. Thanks Scott!

  4. I've been watching lots of videos and this is a very good, simple explanation. I really like the added info regarding animal bones. So glad you added the inoculation/energizing stage. Excellent!

  5. I would bet that biochar is even better than zeolite. They both have a spongelike structure, but biochar and activated charcoal, in general, is famous for its porosity and amazing surface area. "Due to its high degree of microporosity, one gram of activated carbon has a surface area in excess of 3,000 m2 (32,000 sq ft) as determined by gas adsorption."
    Does it matter what particle size of biochar is best for gardening?

  6. When I was much younger I made my own charcoal for sketching. How close was that to biochar? Everything that was to thin, to thick, to curvy..got put on my garden. My daughter's were in 4- h, they had ripe tomatoes for the fair july15, in the southern tier- binghamton area of new your state. We also had plenty of goat manure compost.

  7. We burn our bones in the wood stove ash and charcoal goes in the compost… Just putting our waste to work… I can see how the biochar would work great…

  8. Hi Scott, I've been making DIY charcoal making sure the fire is intensely hot and then doused with water at the point when pyrolysis has burned up the gases and water in the wood rendering it into charcoal. I burn various wood chunks this point, but I'd like to burn bones at some point. 

    I shovel the charcoal into a metal wheelbarrow and hose it down. There are just enough small holes in the wheelbarrow so the water runs out. It's fascinating! No Smoke, rather there's a lot of steam coming off those coals. Then when the charcoal is cooled down, I put the chunks into old chicken feed bags with the top open. I collect urine and pour it into each bag to inoculate it. I learned about this from John Kohler (YT: Growing Your Greens). 
    I've also added it to my compost as I amend my raised beds. I've heard that too much biochar is harmful, so I'm pleased to hear you give amount to use. 

    However, when you say, "…the biochar must be wet…" You mean "inoculated," right? In other words, in your field study you found that "dry biochar" was least productive. I wonder if what you mean by "dry" is charcoal that has not been inoculated? 
    Another note: What I find most difficult about DIY Biochar is the crushing of it after the charcoal has cooled down. I've used a sledge hammer, and I've also driven the car back and forth over half-filled bags with the charcoal (or biochar if I've already inoculated it). Either way, crushing the charcoal is quite tedious! How do you crush it?

  9. Thanks for this video. Over the last 50 years, I have added the ashes from our wood stoves and fireplaces, as well as leaves and burned leaves too. Additionally, I have added compost.
    Our family garden always yields fabulous produce and flowers without the need for fertilizer.
    However, I do add 10-10-10 fertilizer to our compost to aid the decomposition. Thank you for enlightening us!

  10. I'll confess, I'm a skeptic when it comes to biochar. But, I'm open-minded in terms of any field studies that show how a normal home gardener would benefit from its use. I'd love to see the data from your field trial. Love you videos, but this one I'll pass on judging once I see the data. Thanks for posting.

  11. There's an interesting documentary film screening (free for about 3 more days and only $7- to purchase the digital version). Biochar is a featured topic in this film. I don't know how to link it other than to give the documentary name, which is "The Need to Grow" and the name of the organization that produced it: "Earth Conscious Films." The film is also being offered for viewing for a limited time (3 days more?) through "Food Revolution Network" by John & Ocean Robbins. Hope you and your viewers will check this out.

  12. This makes no sense. Clearly I have a different definition of charcoal, as far as I know if you have water, volatiles and oils, your charcoal is bad. Plus, I've never seen someone making charcoal like the way you described, I've only seen the dome methods

  13. I water my plants with pond water regularly. I bought a small bag of biochar and added it to my worm compost that goes on top of soil with azomite. And microrizomes

  14. When activating biochar with my soil and compost tea as you describe, would it make sense to add a little fish emulsion in an attempt to feed the microbes and let the biochar hold some of the nutrients? I use fish emulsion fairly regularly anyway (usually mixed at half the recommended strength) for all the usual reasons, including that it has never burned my plants. My goal is to get the biochar ready for the conditions my soil and plants are already accustomed to. I figure unless I really overdo it with the fish emulsion the biochar will just act like a slow-release fertilizer, and any that's not absorbed by the char will simply act like my normal fertilizer. Am I on the right track?

  15. There is a company who started making lawn fertilizer a year ago and it uses bio char in it. They supercharge it by taking the bio char by putting it in chicken houses. The bio char absorbs all the stink and nutrients. They then have it peleteized so you can spread it on your lawn with a spreader. All that goodness is added in your lawn or garden.

  16. Next year I will be building a raised bed mix, bacterial dominated compost, fungal dominated compost, peat, loam, minerals, and biochar. I can mix about 4 yards of material at a time in my mixer, its fantastic for mixing custom soils for customers.

  17. I keep seeing people using pound measurements for adding biochar to beds, but biochar that I keep finding is sold by the gallon not the pound. I am having a heck of a time trying to figure out how many bags of biochar I am going to have to order for all of my raised beds.

  18. Thanks! Great information.
    I was just watching an interview with Graham Hancock, where he discusses that research is showing that the whole amazon rainforest was apparently a man made endeavor in which biochar was created by a civilization thousands of years ago to enrich the soil to sustain vegetation. It’s called terra preta. Considering the amazon rainforest is about the size of India, this was quite a large project for an ancient civilization.

  19. Pyrolysis is is decomposition of wood , burning to most of us , in a vacuum. So that is , fill a 55 gallon drum with wood and roast the 55 gallon drum in a fire for hours and you get the wiffle ball within the wiffle ball charcoal.
    Burn a brush pile and douse it with water Skillcult channel and alls you get is a golf ball. Or pay $55 for a five gallon bucket or raw wiffle ball in a wiffle ball biochar charcoal . Need more than that? Then 2 cubic yards is $1000 best I can tell from online salers
    Stick with Compost and save thousands of dollars even if you have to buy the compost. Use your brush pile golf ball like charcoal to make the soil light weight and aerobic

  20. Hi, I'm beginning to admit my age, and the time has come to buy a wheelbarrow. You seem sensible and frugal. I'm in Canada; but most of the same brands are available here. First I'm headed down to the local Habitat Re-Store but if nothing there, what do you suggest? I think just plain aluminum might be good? Less issues with rust?

  21. Are there pre-mixed bags of soil with all the necessary nutrients, bacteria etc. for purchase for a brand new gardener? What type of wood should be used to make raised beds?

  22. If you have never taught classes, you missed your calling. This was a very well structured and clearly explained with 'visual aid' teaching presentation. Thank you much!!!
    What type of charcoal/what is the charcoal that is used to dehumidify a room? I needed some last year in an effort to forever get rid of fleas so as to never have to use pesticide on my cat again.. ie flea applications from a vet.
    And I too, as also requested below…a how to make bio char video. Realizing that you are also very busy, I will keep watching and hope at some point you have time to do this.

  23. Quite a concise informative discussion. But I would add that anaerobic digestion/biogas system effluent is a fantastic liquid for activating/infusing nutrients into biochar before spreading in the garden. The digester effluent contains a full spectrum of all of the nutrients fed to the digester — as compared to losses from composting. Just started last spring but results have been highly encouraging.

  24. Excellent information! Perfectly explained and the first YouTube video I have found which actually does the explaining in a way that anyone can understand. Sure, there are plenty of videos about Bio-char, but they’re all about how to make it, not what to do with it when you’ve got it. Also, I though any charcoal was in fact bio-char if extinguished before it was turned to ash. Not so. Thank you for this excellent informative video, I hope to watch more.

  25. if i havent understood wrong; biochar is like Leonardite which i use in my garden and changed my life. what do you think Scott?

  26. Thank you for this information, I charged biochar I made, with compost tea but I added humic acid, great results especially in citrus trees
    Nice job

  27. This might be a silly question, but when you activated the biochar, you used a lot of "water", and you mentioned letting it rest for three days, but when you used it on the raised bed it was completely dry. Was that water completely absorbed? Or do you let it dry afterward?

  28. I agree with putting biochar in the front end of the compost process (thanks Hugh McLaughlin) as it inoculates, conditions and charges the biochar. Dr McLaughlin had mentioned 1/3 by volume of biochar to compost and at the end of the process you will have a 50:50 blend. I could never make that amount of biochar but every bit helps.

  29. Hi Scott, Thanks for your informative video and I'm glad to see it reaching so many people. It is especially gratifying to see you respond to their comments…kudos to you. As part of the Umpqua Biochar Education Team (UBET) here in Oregon I/we promote biochar. We are about a dozen hardcore promoters who each have around 10 years experience in the making and use of biochar. As a whole we do take issue with one reflection you make, the labeling of 'good' and 'bad' biochar. Good being retort derived and bad from open burns, being a pit or flame cap kiln. There are minor differences between the two, but from our experience it's all good! We have used both and haven't noted any significant difference in results once in the ground. Personally I suspect you may be on the receiving end of an uninformed 'bill of goods' from your supplier. I would like you to give some thought to the idea that we are trying to duplicate the Terra Preta which the Amazonians created 500-2000 years ago…they didn't have retort technology. I recommend contacting Wilson Biochar Associates for more information if you're interested. Kelpie Wilson is an engineer and one of the leading experts on biochar in the U.S. for the last 11 years. All in all, an excellent presentation, thank you. O.J. Romo.

  30. I’ve made biochar. Sometime I’d like to make it using wood pellets so they’d all be the same size. I’m no OCD, no not me. Lol.

  31. I put a lot of charcoal in my garden. And what you are talking about is activated charcoal. There are videos for making that too. Charcoal will work it will do the same thing it just takes more. Charcoal can remain in the soil for 10000 years. Oh and commercially produced biochar is expensive and not something for a large farm. It literally has to be heated to above 1000 degree F at least twice and the second time it has to be in an atmosphere without oxygen so that it doesn't burn. The production might be good for your garden but is it good for the environment? Oh and biochar by its own characteristics should absorb nutrients and bacteria(biochar acts like a nurseries for bacteria) without charging.

  32. Just like to throw in here that the main difference in producing coal or char, is temperature. Higher temperature makes more biochar, and the best diy is either the TLUD dry wood, or scale up to get a big fire regardless if dry

  33. Excellent video, gardener Scott! VERY informative. Next year Im making four 4×8 raised beds about 18" high for multiple vegetables in a companion garden set up. I own a small property so space is an issue, especially space that gets 6-8hrs of sunlight, but Ill be damn sure to use Biochar in my gardens nest year.
    You just earned a new subscriber here. looking forward to future videos!

  34. I will be your customer soon. My farm is in the Southern High Desert of Nevada. Not a good area for a plant farm
    unless you like decaying rock and clay. I hope to use your biochar to create siol for growing.

  35. Have you ever added Lava Sand to your garden beds? From the Dirt Doctor web site library.

    LAVA SAND

    The sand-sized and smaller waste material left from lava gravel mining is an excellent, high-energy soil amendment material. It can be used in potting soils, germination media, and bed preparation. Lava sand, or lava in any size, increases the water holding capacity of the soil and increases the paramagnetism. The result is increased production of any plant crop. Broadcast at 40-80 pounds per 1,000 square feet. (1 ton per acre) or till into new beds at 80-150 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Lava sand works in potting soil, propagation flats and in any container plants. If possible use lava sands with high paramagnetic count. Lava sand offers a physical improvement to the soil that moves unhealthy, unbalanced soils toward balance. The mineral make up of lava sand is less important than the shape of each piece of sand. The angular, porous pieces of lava hold and exchange nutrients efficiently and they attract and redistributed cosmic energy in the soil.

    Cosmic energy is a fancy term for the sun’s energy. The sand-sized and smaller waste material left from lava gravel is an excellent, highly paramagnetic soil-amendment material. It can be used in potting soils and bed preparation for all landscaping and food crops. Finer textured material is even better. Lava sand is magical stuff. Dr. Phil Callahan, the scientist who probably understands more about the secrets of nature than anyone on earth, taught me to teach people to add lava sand to the soil. When he explains the reason why, it sounds so simple and makes so much sense, but when I try to explain it, there’s often something lost in the translation.

    Here are some of the ways to use lava sand for greater plant production.

    Sick trees – broadcast under the trees at 40-80 pounds/1,000 square feet. For more effective results on sicker trees, drill 2” holes 12-18” deep throughout the root zone and fill with 50% lava sand and 50% compost.

    Roses – add to rose bed preparation at 80 pounds per 1,000 square feet and to the top of roses in pots at a rate heavy enough to cover the soil surface red. Gently work into the top 1”. Turf broadcast at 40 pounds per 1,000 square feet.

    Bed preparation – till together with compost and organic fertilizer. Use 40 – 80 pounds per 1,000 square feet.

    Potting soil – add up to 1/3 the volume of good potting soil. Lava sand – magic? No, it just helps the physics, chemistry and biology of the soil.

    Shortly after I had turned North Texas and Oklahoma on to this fascinating natural material the questions started coming in. “OK, it’s working great, but why? What’s in lava sand that’s making plants respond so strongly?” At this point I really didn’t know for sure other than what Dr. Callahan had told me about energy and paramagnetism. I knew that trying to explain paramagnetic energy to organic gardeners would be difficult and explaining it to organiphobes would be a total waste of time.

    So, I tried another angle. soil test. I sent some lava sand, which had been brought into the Dallas/Fort Worth area from New Mexico, to K. Chandler at Texas Plant and Soil Labs in Edinburgh. The results were interesting but puzzling. The nutrient value was minimal and the pH was 8.2. How was this stuff working to make plants grow so well? I had never seen any chlorosis (iron deficiency) come on from using lava around susceptible plants such as sweetgum, dogwood or photinia. In fact, I saw just the opposite. Yellowing plants greened up. How could that be? It could be because pH is an indicator only – not a controller. Many factors in the soil are more important than pH. Lava sand addresses those factors. Lava holds water, just at the right level for a long time. If the soil has good moisture and a balance of minerals, organic matter, microbes and earthworms, plant production will be good. The paramagnetism of the lava sand helps make all that happen.

    Lava sand is crushed scoria, a reddish brown to black volcanic slag. It has a texture full of holes. Lava sand is the most popular rock material. Considered by many to be an excellent source of energy for the soil. Lava sand makes soil nutrients more available to plant root. It provides aeration and porosity to the soil. It helps retain the right amount of moisture in the soil, is durable and resists degradation.

    The sand sized and smaller waste material left from lava gravel manufacturing. It is an excellent, highly paramagnetic soil amendment material. It can be used in potting soils and bed preparation for all landscaping and food crops. Finer textured material would be even better if it was easily available. This is one of the most controversial products I recommend. All the hard headed organiphobes have to do to see it’s power is – try it!

    A high quality lava sand that can be delivered to you is: Cinderite

    Q: Is there a good time to apply lava sand, or can it be spread at any time of the year? Can it be used on shrubs and flower beds, as well as trees? What's the recommended amount to use? Is all lava sand the same? C.N., Dallas, TX

    A: Put lava sand out any time at a rate of 40 pounds per 1,000 square feet. For perennial beds, you could make a heavier application and add a layer of lava sand up to 2 inches thick before mixing it into the soil. You can use lava sand in any soil and with all plants. All lava sands help retain moisture, but the varieties with the highest paramagnetism work best. The manufacturer or supplier should have that information.

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  36. Biochar is impacting the Agriculture industry hugely. The process to make it is very very difficult. Wood needs to be burnt at a consistent temperature. Have tried to produce it oursellves, with self-made "burners" that needs to be kept going for hours at a constant/ consistent temperature. Biochar is the "green alternative"! It is used in air conditioners for example and many other types of machinery to purify air for example, but the Agriculture community is truly amazed with its results.

  37. Very informative – thanks so much. I did a search on your channel for any info relating to "rock dust" and couldn't find anything. There is so much conflicting information out there – some say it's extremely valuable as a soil additive and others still say its a big marketing scam. Do you have any input on this, Scott?

  38. I'm not convinced the charcoal from quenching your burn pile is significantly different than that produced with pyrolysis. If there is significant difference then there should be a measurable diff in density between the two, the charcoal should be heavier per unit volume when both are dry. I doubt the Amazon natives did it any more fancy than we do in our burn piles.

  39. I keep and breed tropical fish and the biochar reminds me of activated carbon like we used to use in aquarium filters, Comfrey is a great plant to grow its said to have many medicinal properties

  40. Far too expensive for an 800 sq ft garden.
    I didn't see a mix rate when using confrey tea.
    I have two 5-gal buckets 'fermenting' for the next 3-4 months (lids are on too) of comfrey leaves and stems. Buckets are indoors with temps between 45 and 65.
    Any thoughts or suggestions?
    I may be stuck making charcoal in a metal tube tossed into the wood burner…

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