Charcoal Experimental Plots

Tom Miles

Charcoal Experimental Plots
Rich Haard and Larry Williams at Fourth Corner Nurseries, Bellingham, Washington, May 6, 2007

We spread the treatment combinations today and rototilled the plots that are now ready for planting in a day or 2. Twenty six plots all together plus 1 more Larry will be putting in place in about 2 weeks.
All in a 4 foot by 500 foot long experimental bed within our regular bareroot production seedbeds. We will crop this experimental set twice. This year with Swiss Chard, a native aster, and black twinberry (Lonicera involucrata). All are very demanding for nutrients and aggressive growers. After harvest with a lifter-shaker in early November the entire bed will be winter sown with seed, most likely Indian plum (Oemleria cerasiformis), which is an ecological indicator for nitrogen rich soils and for a second crop without additional fertilizer or organic matter.

Here is the link to my flickr charcoal/farming file if you would like to browse thru the full set of images

Here are links to the most recent images that pretty well tell the story of our work today setting up these research plots.
Select image to enlarge
Conifer charcoal, fine texture, source JF Waste energy Systems

Hardwood charcoal, broken pieces, 50% 3/8" minus, source Rich and Larry

From rear, plots, compost, compost + charcoal1, compost + charcoal 2, compost + charcoal 2 plus fertilizer, and etc for 26 plots total

Finished plots after rototilling and before planting which will happen next week

As roto-tilled showing separation between plots and depth of tilling, about 6 inches

Finished compost plot

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