Everyone wants bigger, more productive, more nutrient filled plants and Jeff Cox shows you one way to have them by supercharging the soil with biochar. This soil amendment is wood and other organic matter that is roasted to black charcoal and inoculated with compost. According to Cox, it creates the perfect habitat for soil-enriching microorganisms and will and increase soil biodiversity, improve soil structure, decrease the need for fertilizers, reduce the effects of toxic heavy metals in the soil, store water and nutrients, and sequesters carbon.
Cox traces the history of biochar from pre-Colombian times and describes what it is, how it is made, and what it can do for your garden. He then gives directions for making biochar in a pit, a metal can, and a TLUD cooker followed by tips for buying bichar in case making it at home is not appealing or possible. Final chapters describe how to inoculate the biochar and then how to use it in the garden for the greatest benefit. One caveat, Cox cites a study that suggests that some crops are benefited far more than others from biochar, and a few are even negatively impacted, so proceed with caution.
The text is written in an easy to read friendly style and all the directions are clear. An abundance of photographs aid the directions and give sense of familiarity with the amendment and the steps in making it. Insets provide details on such topics as rhizobia and the use of bichar in the feed of farm animals, and a glossary, bibliography, and list of resources provide additional information.
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