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Subject:  Nature News feature on Biochar

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Charlie L

Lexington, MA

For those interested in biochar, the following is a news feature that appeared in Nature News. While not a scientific article, it does try to provide a balance summary of work citing pros and cons of biochar: http://www.nature.com/news/agriculture-state-of-the-art-soil-1.16699?WT.ec_id=NEWS-20150120

Anyone who cannot get access to the cited papers, can contact me directly (cml@cmliris.harvard.edu).

1/20/2015 10:42:37 AM


aurora, IL

I have heard of biochar from hearing that Shazzy used it in his patch. Biochar helps to hold nutrients in the soil, but you need to use a lot of it. About 1lb per sqft.

1/20/2015 1:00:25 PM


Winston Salem, NC

Here is a link to a biochar article concerning its innoculation rate and effect in suppressing Fusarium Crown and Root Rot of Asparagus. This seems like it could potentially be very good for those of us who have soils that dont drain as well. Please give it a read and tell me if I'm off base on this thought. The paper is free for all to download.

1/26/2015 2:16:52 PM


Winston Salem, NC

Also, here is another very long article with lots of information on biochar.

1/26/2015 2:19:47 PM


President - GPC

The BIG thing is that it changes Ph big time.... Lots of studies going on so things look hopeful, my science book had lots of info, but it all lead to the same thing.....Need more informatioin and studies....
One can make their own, but it needs to be high pressure cooked... appears to have some great potential.

1/26/2015 3:48:55 PM


President - GPC

Russ Landry had some good info......

1/26/2015 3:49:33 PM


Gays Mills, Wisconsin

Any links to the needs to be high pressure cooked -or- can you explain what you mean? I couldn't find anything. Thanks

1/26/2015 4:45:13 PM


President - GPC

Let me get my book at home and Ill add to it. Controlled oxygen, high heat....more to come

1/26/2015 5:59:39 PM


Anamosa, IA BPIowegian@aol.com

In the website that Charlie presented is a link to the US Agricultural Research Service. You can use that link and do a site search for biochar. There are enough articles on biochar to keep you reading until planting time.

1/26/2015 6:34:52 PM

Frank and Tina

South East


back to memory lane...

1/26/2015 6:59:04 PM


this will give you a few videos on how to make biochar

2/1/2015 9:02:17 AM




the second link is a study of effects of biochar on mycorrhizal

2/1/2015 9:22:06 AM


Seattle, WA

Been working with a biochar company now for a couple of years. We've done a few trials and make a "biochar" soil locally for customers now. Couple of things I've learned:

1. There is a big difference in quality from different suppliers. Just like buying compost or any other gardening product. The material needs to be tested and also have been pyrolyzed (think high heat, low oxygen conditions). I went to a "make your own biochar" permaculture class and we were NOT actually making biochar.

2. Biochar has a very high CEC or ability to retain nutrients in the soil and prevent leaching, it also cleanses the soil and water of toxins.

3. Very important to fill the exchange sites or chage the biochar before planting or using it. We soak ours in fish hydrolysate for a week. If you don't, it will outcompete your plant for the available nutrients and you will see N deficienes and other problems.

4. I think it shows a lot of promise and is definitely worth exploring, though may not be cost effective in a large patch. We use it at 10% of the total media in our soil mixes but I've seen agriculture studies where it was closer to 2-3%

2/3/2015 3:56:02 PM


Seattle, WA

For those in WA State, the company I've worked with that I feel is reputable and does a lot of research is BioChar Supreme or Black Owl Biochar.

2/3/2015 3:56:38 PM

n d fan


I ve used it for years, I just take a bag of hardwood charcoal, crush it with my truck tires real fine, fill a 55 gal drum , pour a liquid fert.in it and fill the rest of the way with water, then stir every day for a week, then I mix it with good compost around 1/4 biochar to 3/4 compost. It is said to build carbon 700 percent, wont leach. I use it for all my veggies

2/25/2016 3:26:45 PM

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