Biochar compost is an excellent media for all kinds of applications. Recently I had been experimenting using biochar compost for mobile gardens and floating gardens. Although here it is used on a small scale, it could be used for large scale applications too.

Biochar mobile gardens
Biochar floating gardens

Other common applications are for urban gardens

From Biochar Floating Gardens
Sunflowers growing on the Balcony

Nikolaus Foidl, September, 2011

Trying to get my balcony garden to be more productive, i digged out the whole through and layed a layer of pebble stones on the bottom 10 cm of wood cuttings ontop and then a mix of the digged out soil with bark mulch and char( 50 tons per ha).

Then i planted 8 sunflowers per 2 m2 half of them with additional salicylic acid. As the birds where eating up already the half ripe seeds i had to harvest the already bigger heads. The non salicylic acid treated are about 10 days slower in ripening and somehow smaller.

Head diameter average of the salicylic treated is 34 cm( between 32 to 35 cm).The only char treated are around 24 cm diameter(22 to 27 cm). I have no non char non salicylic treated samples as i have not enough space on my balcony.
But the trial serves as an anectotal trial not as a scientific trial.

Oxford Biochar, Summer, 2011

Oxford Biochar is sponsoring a giantexperiment to test the effectiveness of Biochar in standard garden plots all across Britain.

The Big Biochar Experiment

The web site does a nice job of explaining what biochar is, and showing the benefits of adding it to your soil. Then it asks home gardeners to set up 2 plots, one a test, and one a control. Add the biochar, and record data about what types of things they added to both plots, the pest control needed and the yields from that plot are. It looks like it will do a nice job of seeing whether regular gardeners are likely to see results from biochar in the first year.

It's too late for spring planting, but it's just the right time for summer planting for fall crops. Information about the plot test, and tips for getting started and recording data are on the web page:


Josiah Hunt, Landscape Ecology July, 2010

Biochar Trials

In 2009 Landscape Ecology was awarded a grant to produce biochar amended compost and observe plant growth responses.

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Josiah Hunt, July, 2010

Josiah has a background in Agroecology and Ecology, and he has been working both in landscaping, and in making Biochar. See his web site for more details

His work is also noted in the July-August 2010 Audubon Magazine Field Notes: Please Smoke


Biochar Makes Organic Farming Practical
AJ Morris,Organic Gardening December 18, 2008

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Peter Cundall: Slow Burning Solution
In Organic Gardener (Australia), September/October 2008, Courtesy Ron Larson and Albert Bates
Using Biochar
Using Biochar

"How can we use biochar?

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