In North Carolina a biochar consulting group supported the revitalization of land near a landfill that had been eroded to an almost desolate landscape. In order to keep the hill intact the soil had to be repaired — reborn! A mix of biochar and compost was the perfect prescription to restart the soil down a path to a balance of healthy bacteria, nutrients, water and plant growth!
In a very short period of time (~2 weeks) not only did the field see the grass seed germinate. It was thriving! There have to be many factors beyond the biochar to make this happen. The consulting group understood that biochar needs organic to charge up the soil and that just putting biochar in desolate soil would not provide the immediate benefits everyone hopes for. In this case, a 50/50 mix of biochar and compost at a rate of 1/4 lb a square foot was applied.
After a quick month of letting nature it take its course the hill showed almost no resemblance to its former self. Echoes of Star Trek – The Search For Spock movie where Capt. Kirk fired the Genesis missile to restore life to an entire planet and bring back Spock… biochar was a life giving missile to this hillside. To be totally transparent, we have never heard of biochar saving the life of a Vulcan. (Yes. I just put a random Star Trek reference into this post. It’s a blog. We can have fun here!) With no further adieu I give you the same horribly infertile soil after 4 weeks of a biochar and compost mix and some grass seed:
A fantastic display of using biochar to reclaim land. Whether you are gardening, farming, or building a landfill retaining wall you can rely on biochar to make your plant production grow to its fullest. Live long and prosper!