Biochar granules, sieved 0-2 mm
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What is Biochar
Biochar is a form of charcoal-carbon made by pyrolysis (combustion without oxygen). Good biochar improves the structure, tilth, aeration, water holding capacity and nutrient retention in soils which leads to improved soil health and plant growth.
Why use biochar
Biochar made from wood supports enhanced microbe and fungal growth. These microbes live in the biochar pores and access the stored nutrients. The microbes form symbiotic relationships with plant root hairs – moving nutrients to the roots in exchange for sugars (food) from the roots. There is growing evidence this root zone activity stretches beyond nutrient transfer. The exact mechanisms are not fully known, but it appears a community of mutual defences against pathogens and diseases is created which results in enhanced plant vitality and disease resistance.
(A note of caution: biochar is a relatively new product. Many studies prove it works and quite a few say it does not. Biochar can be made from many materials (wood, straw, manures, rice, coco and palm shell husks). Even some ashes from renewable energy production will chemically analyse as 'biochar'. Using a company with a long track record of technical leadership in how and why biochar works will help you avoid 'biochars' that meet the chemical specification but fail to deliver any plant growth benefits.)
Our internal testing and analysis have led us to only use biochar made from wood. We then grade and sieve the particle sizes so it enhances soil microbiology and soil aggregation and tilth.
- SoilFixer biochar is sieved and graded for soil needs
- Water retention
- Nutrient supply to roots
- Decrease nutrient run of
- Support microbes and AMF (mycorrhizal fungi)
- Support the formation and stability of colloidal humus
- Improve soil tilth
Read more at our biochar article
Environmental benefits include:
- Carbon capture by locking carbon in the soil for hundreds of years
- Offset your carbon footprint - 1Kg biochar equals approx 3.0 Kg of carbon dioxide
- Reduced NOx and methane soil emissions
Where to use biochar
- Raised beds
- General gardens
- Add to compost* (see below)
How to apply biochar
Raw biochar needs to absorb nutrients and develop root zone relationships - this can take 3-6 months. This inoculation ‘lag’ period can be solved (see below), or customers can buy SF60 Biochar Super Compost ready to use.
We are confident biochar will deliver +20% plant growth and crop yield.
We recommend (along with most of the biochar scientific community) that you 'inoculate' (soak, charge, activate, enrich) your biochar before adding it to the soil. The simplest method is to add biochar to your composting process. You can also soak the biochar in a liquid fertiliser before adding to the soil.
The most powerful biochar benefits involve interactions with the root zone. It follows the best place for biochar is in the root zone. Our recommendation is to dig it when planting (eg seed drills, tree holes or when cultivating the soil. This is not always possible (nor desirable if following no-till regime!) and biochar benefits have been shown when used as a top dressing or when lightly hoed into top few centimetres of soil.
Should I use powder, fine granules (0-2mm), or the (0-8mm) granules?
The SoilFixer 0-8mm grade biochar is sieved to achieve the best balance of particle size ratios for use in soil. There are no large bits (>8mm) and minimal amounts of ultra-fine powder.
SoilFixer grinds and sieves our wood-derived biochar to get the right ratio of particles. The 0-8 mm granules are graded to work well in most soils. The 0-2mm granules offer a little bit more water holding capacity which is useful in sandy soils. We do not recommend fine (amorphous) biochar powder as they do not have the macro-pores needed by soil microbes. We also advise care when using large granules (>8mm sieve) because the volume of surface pores available to the soil microbes in very low and large particles negatively impact soil aggregation (ie tilth). (Read more in our biochar blog).
How much biochar should I apply to the soil?
|Apply||Approx. Volume Ratio|
|Target||1 to 2.5 Kg/m2||4-10%|
The % volume ratio varies with depth of soil mix. For more detail on application rate calculations by area, volume and weight and tips on how to make your budget go further, please visit the application ratio blog. We also have a free Excel calculator if you need to work out accurate application ratios.
You can make biochar go a further and maximise budget by focusing on only adding into seeds drills and planting holes then repeating application each year.
Our biochar is 100% made in FSC managed woodlands to the EBC certification standard. The pyrolysis production (heating without oxygen) is undertaken in advanced retort kilns. You can read why this matters to the environment and your carbon footprint via our blog.
|How to use / Specification|
|How to use||Mix 5-10% by volume into raised beds, containers and around plants to improve crop and plant growth. Please note all biochar should be activated before use - for more read our biochar and SF60 FAQs|
|Pack size||5, 10, 20 Kg sacks. Contact us for pallet loads.|
|Particle size||0-2 mm|
|Weight||We maximise packs sizes to the courier's price bands based on total parcel weight 5 Kg = 4.7Kg product + 300g box 10 Kg = 9.6 Kg + 400g box 20Kg = 19.5 Kg +500g box|