I think it would be a great place for micro's to call a home..in other words im guessing hundreds or thousands of microrganisms will attach to it??? but im not sure just a guess....rot wrote:..
Exactly what is gained by putting charcoal in a compost pile as opposed to just putting it into the soil?
I was told this, never claimed it to be true...notice the question mark at the end...The Helpful Gardener wrote:Top$, you are mistaken about grass clippings robbing nitrogen; in fact clippings from a mulching mower left on the lawn religiously will provide at least half of the nitrogen your lawn needs for the year.
when i BBQ i use hardwood lump charcoal, im kind of a green guy and like to keep the chemicals to minimum especially when cooking or growing. I think this kind of coal is better for the soil and cooking..or people who use wood smokerers to cook could probably get a good end product.The Helpful Gardener wrote:As for using coal as a carbon sequestration tool, I prefer my carbon sequestration to leave out the arsenic, cadmium and other nasties coal brings to the picture. Wood ash is fine, coal ash is not... The best carbon sequestration method for coal is LEAVE IT IN THE GROUND. As for "seeing (charcoal) do something", rot, bust out a good microscope and I can show you charcoal doing things. And ask yourself what your best visual cue is for really fertile soil? THAT's seeing something isn't it?
Amazonian terra preta (dark earth) was made from charcoal and broken pottery. Both the charcoal and the clay shards helped provide a colloidal storage for nutrients that would have otherwise washed from the soil. The honeycomb structure of wood charcoal is completely lacking in coal, drastically decreasing it's surface area, and therefore it suitability as nutrient sump. Add that to the registery of toxins that comes along with coal ash, and you couldn't PAY me to use coal in any garden setting, let alone a food garden. Wood in compost is good too; fungal food par excellence, but it's long term sequestration in the soil is poor. Charcoal gives us these colloidal benefits in the long term; the "brown" that keeps on giving. Humate or brown coal, is another great way to get this effect, but now we are mining and shipping from limited locales; not so green. Charcoal can be a by-product of pyrolic fuel manufacturing from biomass, done close to home from local product. Guess which I choose?
But smoldering your own wood or even manure (i read you can do this) would be more convenient and more green, considering all effort to get commercial products to the shelves..I also don't think its the ash of wood or coal that has the most benefit, noticed the word smolder ive being juggling around. I read that its the smoldered end product that has the most benefit..
the reason i mentioned biochar is because i heard theyre trying to use it to also make clean energy, i believe many are trying to make this a green product but they are still a long way..
i first heard about this product on the discovery channel, on earth day, they had a special on going green, and they shined the light on many sweet and good idea's that made me happy to see many are actually trying to improve or ways of living in harmony with mother nature.