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ARgardener April 18, 2017 12:31 PM

Activating/ Charging Biochar
Alright, so I've got 2 metal trashcans full of charcoal collected from burn rings.
I read that it needs to be "charged" before being added to the soil, and I'm wondering if any of you have a procedure or recommendation to do this?

I see lots of videos of people using gobs of expensive ingredients (loads of guano, liquid kelp, micronized rock dust, etc.), but I'm looking for cost-effective, simple, and (relatively) quick way to make my charcoal effective.

Anyone have any ideas? Compost teas? Manures? Fish emulsion? etc?

IdahoTee April 18, 2017 07:04 PM

What about mixing the Biochar into active compost and letting it self charge?

ARgardener April 18, 2017 10:42 PM

[QUOTE=IdahoTee;632776]What about mixing the Biochar into active compost and letting it self charge?[/QUOTE]

I read this takes a few months

IdahoTee April 26, 2017 01:32 AM

Another option would be to create something like the Terra Char product.

They charge it with SCD Bio and I think Sea-90. Not sure how much Biochar you are activating, but a quart of bio ag isn't too expensive.

Here is a link to a power point somewhat detailing their methods.


Worth1 April 26, 2017 05:59 AM

I dont think anyone knows exactly how those folks did it way back when or why.
Was it by accident or for a reason?
They probably noticed the plants were greener in the char piles at first.
Then there is the fact it was done in very poor soil not good soil.
It is only now that people are realizing just how advanced these folks were and how wide spread they were.
All it took was a little interaction with some sick Spaniards and it wiped out the whole bunch leaving a few to run off and spread the sickness to everyone else.

ARgardener May 3, 2017 12:45 PM

Well I gave up on rushing things. I'll activate it throughout the summer then add it to the beds once the season ends.

reubenT December 16, 2018 08:33 PM

I am seeing fairly good results so far with a 50/50 mix of biochar and garden dirt, adding soft rock phosphate, azomite, high calcium lime. and some form of nitrogen. Calcium nitrate on most things to get them going. Ammonia sulfate if what I'm planting needs an acid soil. Usually I'd add the sulfate when the plant blooms and starts putting on fruit. Tomatoes need plenty of it. I get the idea the biochar will gradually improve it's action and results over time and won't need much nitrogen added. Or much of anything else very often perhaps, since the carbon soaks stuff up and prevents leaching of soluble elements, also providing home for soil microbes that digest minerals and trap nitrogen from the air. In time I plan on playing with the sea minerals, strait sea water, (limited since it's a bit high in sodium) and various other products.

SQWIBB December 17, 2018 10:14 AM

Urea to charge.
I use a mix of urea and coffee grounds

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