If you want your plants or crops to flourish, they need the right amount of water. Too little water means plants wither from lack of moisture. Excessive amounts cause waterlogged plants to die because oxygen is not readily available to the roots. It occurs in poorly drained soil during heavy rain. The only way to alleviate this issue is by improving drainage and soil structure. Fortunately, soil amendments such as biochar offer a solution.
At Wakefield BioChar, we invite you to learn more about biochar and how it can help your waterlogged plants thrive.
If your property is prone to flooding, you are likely aware of the stress placed on your plants.
Signs of waterlogged plants include the following:
- Yellowing leaves
- Dropping leaves
- Darkening roots
- Rotting odor
- Spongy areas at the plant base
If your plants exhibit the above, suspect waterlogging. In a study involving waterlogged soils, biochar treatment decreased the soil’s pH and bulk density. It also increased “soil organic carbon (SOC), available nitrogen (AN), and available phosphorus (AP).”
Benefits of Biochar
As Open Agriculture notes, biochar improves soil function “while avoiding damaging effects in the short and long term for the wider environment and for both human and animal health.” Many regions experience waterlogging issues that did not exist in the 20th century. While biochar can remediate this, it also helps climate change.
Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas most responsible for global warming. The biochar manufacturing process reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by converting decomposing biomass to a fixed carbon that is sequestered into the ground.
Additional benefits of biochar include the following:
- Improved drainage–Biochar improves soil structure and porosity, the number of pores between soil particles.
- Aeration–Poorly drained soils suffer from inadequate aeration. Poor aeration leads to compaction and the inability of plants to receive the water, air, and nutrients they need. Biochar improves soil structure, leading to better aeration.
- Nutrient retention–Biochar delivers the right amount of nutrients to roots.
- Microbial activity–By improving aeration, biochar also boosts microbial activity in soil. That is again due to biochar’s porous nature, which encourages the colonization of beneficial microbes.
- Reduced toxicity–Biochar has the ability to reduce the presence of organic pollutants, heavy metals, and other toxins in soils, keeping them from leaching into your garden.
What is Biochar?
The origins of biochar date back 2,500 years. The indigenous people of the Amazon Basin burned organic material and then let it smolder and created terra preta, rich black earth with high levels of fertility. Today’s biochar transforms degraded soils into productive parcels, increasing plant health and crop yields.
It is created by pyrolysis, heating organic biomass in an oxygen-free environment at high temperatures. At Wakefield BioChar, we have the only product listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), ensuring wood comes from “responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.”
As a result, our biochar promotes soil health and sustainability while offering many environmental benefits.
What to Know Before Applying Biochar
Apply biochar with compost in waterlogged soils. Once applied, biochar remains in the ground for many years. While you can use it anytime, the recommended time for most soils ranges from late fall to early spring.
Learn More from Wakefield BioChar
At Wakefield BioChar, we offer several products to improve soil and boost plant health. From our premium biochar soil conditioner to our compost and biochar blend to our premium compost, choose the right biochar for your soil’s needs.
Better Soil. Better World.