Biochar

Definition - What does Biochar mean?

Biochar is charcoal that is used as a soil conditioner. It is rich in carbon, stable, and can last in soil for thousands of years. It is created when organic matter is burned slowly and then stopped when the material reaches charcoal stage. Biochar, when used in combination with compost and other fertilizers, can dramatically improve plant growth. Biochar can also help add and retain nutrients in seriously depleted soil.

MaximumYield explains Biochar

The use of biochar is thought be thousands of years old. It can be found in soils around the world as a result of historic soil management and vegetation fires. Biochar, when utilized correctly, can be an important horticultural tool used to increase nutrients and organic resources in depleted soils. This is because the lumps of biochar are full of holes and crevices that help serve as habitats for soil microorganisms.

Although biochar, when used by itself, serves little purpose in poor soil, it can be used in combination with organic fertilizers or compost. When used in combination with compost or organic fertilizers, biochar can help retain nutrients in the soil and dramatically improve plant growth. However, unlike composts and fertilizers, biochar needs much fewer applications to the soil. Since it lasts for an exceedingly long time, biochar can be applied to soil once every few years. In addition, unlike some commercial fertilizers or soil treatments, biochar is organic and is safe to use in organic gardening. To obtain biochar, consumers can either purchase pre-made biochar from retailers, or they can make their own.

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