Biochar Clients: Applications, Experiences, Suggestions and Results Using ARTi Biochar
You may already know from our previous blog articles that ARTi works with a wide variety of biochar users in an array of biochar applications. The series here will focus on client stories and our work in helping to address their soil health issues. This will include addressing poor or depleted soil and plant vitality needs as well as ARTi’s work towards aiding our clients in sequestering carbon and their efforts towards more environmentally beneficial or “greener” practices. Additionally, biochar can be a complex scientific topic dealing in areas such as soil biology and the rejuvenation of old or depleted soil. ARTi has assisted our clients in the proper use of biochar in conjunction with helping to address the numerous technical aspects that come along with biochar’s application. In addition to healthier soil and carbon sequestration, biochar of course helps with plant health and helps protect plants from disease under certain conditions. The following blog articles are testimonies about our users’ experiences.
Florida: Sam Einsohn and ARTi Liquid Biochar Application to a Zoysia Lawn to Address Issues of Poor Sandy, Soil Quality
Pictured is Sam Einsohn’s lawn in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Sam has had issues with poor soil quality. Sam’s lawn suffered from pathogen fungus and low-quality sandy soil composition. The lawn’s grass did not grow very well, did not have a fine color, and was not properly green as good lawn grass should be. Sam came to ARTi to see if the effects of our biochar, as well as advice, could remedy his lawn and soil issues. The lawn consists of zoysia grass. Zoysia grass is known for its ability to withstand heat, drought, heavy foot traffic, and a number of other environmental impacts. After considering the state of Sam’s soil from chemical analysis, ARTi recommended trying Premium Organic liquid Biochar although to apply it in dry form. ARTi’s biochar, which contains beneficial microbes together with the biochar’s usual properties, can go a long way towards improving the lawn’s soil.
Biochar is a very long-life product and the added characteristics found in Premium Organic biochar can allow for the best nutrient soil mixture and improved soil moisture retention.
Sam Einsohn, MA Food and Resource (Agricultural) Economics from the University of Florida IFAS gave ARTi the opportunity to apply our Premium Organic liquid biochar to his lawn to see if his soil problems could be remedied. As is always the case, soil types present their own unique factors and in this case Sam’s lawn located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA offered its own challenges.
Sam’s plan was to receive 6 pales of ARTi’s Premium Organic liquid Biochar. Each pale is 5 gallons. With biochar present, the opportunity to sequester carbon is there too. With a total of 30 gallons of added biochar, the soil, in this case, is able to sequester 180lbs of CO2! Beyond that, the carbon will be stored for hundreds of years and the soil quality will remain greatly improved for just as long.
ARTi Premium Organic liquid Biochar on-site to be applied.
The first step was soil aeration using a powered core aerator. Aeration is a process which allows air to blend with a liquid in a soil application via the creation of small holes in the ground. The holes were created first and afterward the biochar was applied. This was an added step allowing more of the biochar to be used beyond the spayed top layer which came later. The aeration was Sam’s idea as he thought that would give the biochar a chance to go further into the soil.
Initial lawn soil analysis shows many deficiencies except perhaps Phosphorous (P) and Sodium (S) levels meaning plenty of room for improvement.
Sam’s lawn after aeration
Biochar tends to be most effective when blended with compost. ARTi recommended Black Kow cow manure compost as it is designed for lawn use. The compost adds more nutrients and additional beneficial biological activity to the soil. The manure compost adds greater moisture capacity to sandy soil and reduces nutrient leaching. Just like ARTi’s Premium Organic liquid biochar, Black Kow cow manure compost contains high amounts of helpful microbes. Sam also wished to add peat moss made by Lambert which has a high water-retention capacity and can be added to the top layer of a lawn. The peat moss was for water retention, adding organic matter, and for lowering the soil Ph. Zoysia lawn grass prefers its soil at 6.2 which is acidic but fairly neutral. Turf specialists and ARTi team member Carlos Gonzalez recommended the peat moss to be combined with the compost. Sam found that compost spreading was easier when the compost and moss were mixed together in a spreader because on its own the cow compost was too wet. The peat moss dried up the compost as it was spread which kept things moving nicely. Quite a bit of water had to be added afterward.
Black Kow Compost and Lambert Peat Moss ready to join ARTi Biochar
The entire process to aid Sam’s lawn would include a final spray of the liquid biochar on the top. ARTi’s liquid char (this time in dry form) was added to the soil top layer. A surprising side effect for those present at this point in the process was to have their legs and feet turned almost completely black by the biochar. We will be looking forward to seeing how Sam’s lawn improves and hope to add updated information.