Contaminated soil contains an excess of substances that may harm humans, animals, plants, and the environment. These can include fertilizers, plastics, or heavy metals. Contamination can be intended, accidental, or naturally occurring. At Wakefield BioChar, we encourage you to buy biochar for its impressive benefits for natural landscapes. It is an effective way to remedy problematic soil, which can boost the healthy growth of plants.
What Are Common Contaminants?
Common contaminants found in soil can include physical, biological, and chemical substances, such as:
- Petroleum products
- Heavy metals
- Invasive species
While it can be challenging to identify soil contamination without comprehensive testing, things like soil erosion, poor plant growth, discoloration, and bad odors are all signs of poor soil quality. Along with its adverse effects on plants, soil toxins can be passed to humans when consumed.
However, biochar offers a reliable remedy for contaminated soil as an organic amendment. It can effectively absorb toxins and mitigate their harm.
What Are the Challenges of Contaminated Soil?
As noted, soil contamination is a serious environmental issue linked to several health risks. They are as follows:
Contaminants in soil can be absorbed by plants or make their way into nearby bodies of water. When this occurs, there’s a greater chance that humans and animals will consume toxins and experience adverse health effects.
For instance, excessive exposure to heavy metals is linked to organ damage; children are particularly vulnerable to these risks. Pathogens can also significantly impact a person’s health when consumed.
Reduced Fertility & Productivity
Along with their impact on human health, toxins can affect plants on a metabolic level, limiting growth potential and reducing yield in farming operations.
These risks highlight the importance of soil remediation. Lack of plant vitality detracts from natural landscapes and affects food production. In farming, decreased crop yield is a serious economic issue.
If these contaminants make their way into local drinking water reserves, the effects on humans can be serious. Diminished crop growth deprives animals of food, which can cause a decrease in animal populations.
In addition, consider the critical role that trees play in storing carbon and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. When growth is inhibited by poor-quality soil, the effects of climate change become even more impactful.
Soil Remediation and Management with Biochar
The process of adding biochar to contaminated soils involves a few key considerations:
Soil tests provide insight into soil deficiencies and how they can be addressed. For example, they can detect available nutrients, water pH levels, the volume of organic matter, and soil acidity. Testing can also locate toxins within the soil that may degrade quality and deter healthy plant growth. For soil to be tested, a sample must be taken and sent to a lab for analysis. The subsequent lab results can create a roadmap for soil remediation using organic inputs like biochar and compost.
Biochar as Soil Detoxification Measure
Biochar is effective at cleaning contaminated soil because of its impressive absorption abilities. This process prevents harmful pollutants from being transferred to plants and bodies of water.
Biochar also has a positive impact on the structure of the soil, which enhances its fertility. It improves the soil’s pH level, making it more hospitable to plant life. In addition, biochar ensures the proper water intake into plant roots due to its moisture-retaining capacity and enhances soil porosity to facilitate improved oxygen flow.
How to Incorporate Biochar into the Soil
Biochar must be added to the soil using the correct technique to have the most significant impact on soil quality:
- Apply the Proper Amount – Begin by determining the square footage of your landscape. You can remediate up to 35 square feet of soil with one cubic foot of biochar for every 35 square feet by blending the biochar into the top four inches. If you are top dressing the biochar on a lawn, use one cubic foot of biochar for every 350 square feet and make sure to rake it in well or aerate prior to the application.
- Charge with Compost – Compost is rich in the nutrients trees, plants, and grass need to thrive. Biochar effectively absorbs these nutrients and infuses them into the soil when mixed with compost. Most applications involve a 20/80 mix of biochar and compost.
- Aerate Your Lawn – Aeration breaks up compacted soil by poking holes to facilitate airflow. Water and nutrients also have direct access to root systems, increasing biochar’s impact.
Biochar can be tilled into the soil to ensure it remains nutrient-dense well below the top layers. It can also be added to the top layers of soil to support the growth of new grass seeds.
Improve Soil Quality and Structure with Wakefield BioChar
Good soil is the foundation for all plant life, and Wakefield BioChar designs products that enhance soil quality to support a lush and thriving landscape. Our products can boost the fertility of lawns, gardens, and trees in residential settings and benefit commercial agricultural operations. Please contact us today to learn more about biochar and its positive impact on soil conditions.