SoilMatrix by Airterra

The very best way to use your SoilMatrix Biochar


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SoilMatrix Newsletter No. 13 (Biochar Co-Composting)

Making the very best possible use of your SoilMatrix Biochar…  in your compost.

This edition of the SoilMatrix Newsletter is all about using biochar in your compost-making process as a very good first step in preparing a great garden soil amendment.  If you want to know why adding biochar to your compost bin works so well, read on…

Compost made from kitchen scraps and yard waste with biochar as an ingredient

The very best way to use your SoilMatrix Biochar

That’s right! If you are willing to be patient with your soil enhancing activities, sprinkle a cup of biochar into your compost bin for every 20 cups of added material and keep it blended with all the input materials remembering to keep close to a ratio of 25 to 1 carbon to nitrogen materials.  Biochar co-composting is probably the best possible way to prepare your biochar for your garden.

The SoilMatrix Garden on August 3, 2018

An average evenings harvest from the SoilMatrix Garden

We already know that biochar blended with finished compost makes a great soil amendment to promote healthy plant growth.  All you need to do is run a Google search to find a large amount of information on this.  However, why include biochar in the actual compost making process – “biochar Co-composting”?   I am suggesting this based on my own experience and a recent article published in “Nature Communications”1.  The article:  “Organic Coating on Biochar Explains its Nutrient Retention and Stimulation of Soil Fertility” is written by a group of well respected biochar researchers:  Nikolas Hagemann, Stephen Joseph, Hans-Peter Schmidt, and a host of others.

The secret is in the nutrient-rich organic coating that forms on surfaces of co-composted biochar.  Not only does this coating cover the outer surfaces of biochar particles, but it makes its way into the inner pores as well2. In the referenced article, a number of methods were used including high-resolution spectro-microscopy and mass spectrometry to observe the organic coating.  Moreover, a number of other measurements methods were used to determine that the organic coating contributes to moisture retention and nutrient retention.

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