Biochar soil improver

Biochar is a carbon rich form of charcoal specifically designed for soil application to improve plant growth and health. Biochar is a very stable substance that is not broken down in soils, offering long-term soil benefits. Biochar is highly porous and ideal for colonisation by beneficial bacteria and fungi such as mychorrizae, in turn maximising soil structure and retention by increasing surface area. Biochar also alters the physical nature of a soil to increase the water holding capacity, which makes biochar a stabiliser of relative humidity in soils. The porous nature of biochar and its large surface area (as shown in the electron microscope image here) increases adsorption of nutrients and water – reducing leaching and irrigation requirements. Other improvements of physical soil properties include reductions in acidity; improvements of the cation exchange capacity; accelerated decomposition and improved habitat for beneficial soil microorganisms – all of which cause an increase in plant productivity. As the nutrient value of soil can be influenced by biochar – allowing for a higher nutrient retention – the efficiency of fertilisers is also improved, leading to reduced inputs.

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