Since its founding in 2014 by twin brothers Tony and Tom Marrero, Wakefield BioChar’s mission is to make the world a better place by improving soil fertility in an environmentally sustainable way. The company puts it simply by saying: Better Soil. Better World.
Based in Valdosta, GA, we understand the science of biochar and we know biochar improves the health of any soil. “Biochar is not a new product. It is actually a solution for great soil health that has been forgotten over the years. With a gentle nudge, we are happy to help remind the world of its benefits,” says Tony Marrero.
Wakefield is ready to take a leading role in a worldwide effort to fight climate change with the natural carbon-sequestering properties of biochar. By capturing carbon and locking it in the soil, biochar prevents it from escaping into the atmosphere and contributing to global warming.
Along with a passion for carbon solutions for a better world, Tony Marrero has spent most of his professional life creating new businesses. His brother Tom is a military veteran with a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Missouri. Their dad, Thomas R Marrero, the son of Venezuelan immigrants, was a chemistry professor at Mizzou. A dedicated gardener, he instilled a passion for soil health in his sons that eventually led to the founding of Wakefield BioChar.
Those family values and love for the soil inspire everything we do.
What Is Biochar?
Exactly what is biochar, and why do we think it can change the planet? The use of biochar dates back thousands of years. The indigenous people of the Amazon Basin created Terra Preta, the rich Black Earth of the Amazon jungle, by burning organic materials and letting the biomass smolder. Although the soils of the Amazonian jungle are notoriously infertile, this early version of biochar brought extraordinary productivity to these previously poor soils. This was no temporary fix – the acreage mixed with biochar remains unusually fertile more than two millennia later.
Today, biochar is created via a process known as pyrolysis. That’s the heating of biomass at high temperatures in a no-to-low oxygen environment.
Biochar boosts soil fertility to help plants flourish. Because biochar helps soil retain water and reduces fertilizer loss significantly, there’s much less work for you.
With biochar, you get master gardener results with lazy gardener effort.
We partner in the beneficial reuse of biomass waste. Our biochar derives from virgin pine wood from paper mills processed in our state-of-the-art pyrolysis facility in Valdosta, Georgia, a city with a long history in the forestry industry.
In 2024, we plan an expansion with new pyrolysis facilities to rapidly increase our innovation efforts in the way biochar can solve problems of our agriculture, environment and manufacturing.
Large manufacturers recognize the value of the beneficial reuse of their organic waste materials. Our beneficial reuse division partners with paper mills for biomass and other waste products. For the mills, such reuse is both economically and environmentally sound.
Wakefield BioChar’s products are sold through major retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sam’s Club, and Tractor Supply. Not to mention, hundreds of independently owned lawn & garden stores across the country.
We also supply local farmers with biochar to improve their crop yields, as well as using biochar blends for land remediation projects.
Our biochar products include:
- Wakefield biochar–Our premium biochar helps soil retain water and increases beneficial microbial activity. Because the soil receives more nutrients, your plants flourish as never before, even in degraded soils.
- Wakefield compost + biochar–This product also contains mycorrhizal fungi that increase microbial activity naturally. The result is enhanced seed germination, a stronger root system, and healthier plants.
- Wakefield premium compost–Our organic compost, made from wood waste, helps retain water while reducing the pathogens that cause disease. Grow healthier plants with less work!
Here’s how to use biochar for various applications:
- Lawns – Top dress an established lawn with biochar to reach 5-10 percent by volume for the top 4 inches of soil. For new lawns, seeding, and sod, mix biochar into the top 2 to 4 inches of soil, using about a 1 cubic foot bag for every 100 square feet. Gently rake grass seeds into the soil-biochar mix. For the next five to seven days, water enough to keep the soil moist.
- Gardens – For new plantings, mix biochar into the top 4-6 inches of your garden soil. Use a 1 cubic foot bag for a 4’x8’ raised garden bed. For the next five to seven days, water enough to keep the soil moist.
- Trees and shrubs – For new trees and shrubs, apply biochar to the soil five to seven days before planting. After planting, water sufficiently to keep the soil moist. For established trees and shrubs, work biochar into the root zone, about 4 to 6 inches down.
- Houseplants – Biochar will help indoor plants thrive. Just top-dress your houseplants with biochar to boost soil quality and promote improved aeration and drainage. For new houseplants, make biochar about 10 percent of your potting soil.
Biochar remains in the soil for centuries. There is no advantage to using more than the recommended amount on your lawn, garden, trees, or shrubs.
Join Our Commitment to Sustainability
At Wakefield BioChar, we are committed to sustainability and making better soil for the planet we all share. Not only will homeowners, gardeners, and farmers see a significant difference in the quality of their plantings and crops when they enhance their soil with biochar, but they also have the satisfaction of knowing that they’re helping to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more about our products or contact us for more information!