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Banana Plant Soil, Additives, and Fertilizer This forum is an area where you may discuss the soil to grow banana plants in, as well as soil additives such as teas, composts, manures, fertilizers and related topics.


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Old 03-26-2009, 05:59 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: biochar

Now I remember how I confirmed it, the coconut stuff will usually have coco coir dust falling off if you press and twist the rope. Coco coir dust are like very tiny round speck of brown sawdust.
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:32 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Jo After looking around to see if i could find coco chips i'v concluded that they are to exspesiv for me so I'm just going to use fine wood ships that are partly composted its pretty cheep around here funny how a town with almost 2mil people has almost no good sources of agricultural supplies when i was calling around i actually got laughed at and was asked by one guy at a local nursery why would i want coco chips! he said he'd never heard of them can you believe that! ones again i feel like I'm living in the one place on earth that has taking the concept of dumbing down to a how new level

ps iv been talking about the biochar to different people and almost no one has heard of it before its sorta like when i was talking about carbon foot prints 5 years ago i had to explain that one too do you ever get the feeling that some how you are out there! and that people think you are weird of just nuts i get thees blank looks i just want to slap them don't people read ever! so when i say i live in a desert i mean that literally and intellectually

One Vary Frustrated Gardener
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:17 AM   #23 (permalink)
 
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Pauly, I can relate to what your saying.
My friends think I'm nuts for some of the gardening methods I employ. I asked my cousin for some gutters that he was throwing out and he agreed since they were extra bits. When I told him that I was using them for hydroponic channels he said "you always have some crazy thing going" (only his version was not so tame).
I also bought 10 gallons of molasses from one of, if not the largest, syrup manufacturers in La. to spray my property with. When she was working up my ticket, the lady asked "what are you going to do with this? mix with feed? ", I told her it was to feed the soil organisms.....bacteria mostly. She replied," I think I would want to kill all the bacteria, not feed them."

It's not their fault though. Unless one is actively researching this type of thing or communicating in a forum such as this, they may never hear of such practices. Think about it, would you know about as many growing techniques if not for the internet ?
I too am guilty of ignorance in these matters. Just a few short years ago, my wife asked why I didn't use compost tea. I told her that it sounded stupid to me...why extract nutrients from compost and apply them when it's so much easier to put the compost on the beds :P :P :P
I finally decided there must be more to it and began to google like a mad man. My whole world was changed in a matter of weeks. I had no idea that the soil food web was so complex and that plants could benefit from anything other than fertilizers or manures. I had no idea that microbes had such an important role in soil or that soil was anything more than a growing medium.
But it's the same for me and,I'm sure, for many of us....there are very few people around that I can talk to about these things because they have never heard of them or have dismissed them (as I did with tea, originally) as being unnecessary or non-effective.

Can you belive that my char pile is still smoking after several days of heavy rain ?
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:54 AM   #24 (permalink)
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well Lag now that iv hijack this thread and since its my thread i feel i can all say this I'm old enough to remember long before the net and iv always been a reader highly interested in the world/universe around me and i didn't mean to imply any sort of intellectual superiority i think my point is that thees kinds of things really don't fall that far out side of the current social discussions of are day their all related to global warming ( stewardship of plant earth) in one way or another i think what i was saying about Vegas (being my point of referents) is that here not much matters besides making money and drinking your brains down to a slow dull state existence this towns only a hundred years old Born out of a kind of mythic wester culture that permeates it/us here to this day what brilliant young mind would be drawn to a place like this not many I'm sure but I'm here and not so say that I'm brilliant i had to come here for reasons out side of my control
but I'm not going to change the way i view the world in order to fit in with the low mentality and lack of imagination that is Vegas (that was in no way pointed to you are any ones comments in this thread I'm just getting on my sope box and heaving my probably unwanted opinion out in to the world to see what comes back to me)

some times i think i mite be a tad bit bitter LOL
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:06 PM   #25 (permalink)
 
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Perhaps you got the wrong impression from my post....I'm not very well spoken nowadays. My point was that I talk to a lot of people and very few know what I'm talking about in regards to gardening. I even learn new things on a daily basis. Things I never dreamed of. Things such as hybrid soil / hydroponic systems....who would've dreamed?
It's also very tough to find the equipment and supplies I need. I never dreamed a bulkhead, water soluble ferts suitable for hydroponics, calcium nitrate, bulk worm castings, worms, ......... would be so hard to find.
People just have never heard of the things I'm doing and it's very frustrating.

My dad and a freind were here yesterday ,clearing brush, and commented on my smoldering pile. I tried telling them about char and they thought I was nuts. Both told me to stir it up so it would burn down faster......these are the things I'm talking about.
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:27 PM   #26 (permalink)
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after rereading your post i did have one other thing to say: is a persons fault if they are ignorant I say no its not but! is it there fault if they see no value in bettering them selves intellectually spiritually or physically and to this i say unequivocal yes it is their fault

an Albie it slightly ridiculous example would be:

In the beginning of WW2 the German people (I'm of German descent)where vary economically and politically repressed people having been treated vary poorly by the rest of Europe threw the reparations that were leveled on them after the First World War this being said they turned there backs on what Hitler was doing even thou they knew that ultimately that thees things were morally reprehensible so you see that is a case were people were presented with information but turned away from the opportunity to better them selves by acting on what they new
so were they ignorant of the facts in hind site we now that a good many new not all but allot but simply chose not to learn and grow throw there situation by acting so i see this as an example of people that refused to know! and refused to learn! and 3 million Jew Gipsy's Gays and many other ethnic people payed there lives for the German peoples opportunity to stay ignorant
In summation this kind of thing is dangerous but we here in the USA always think it cant happing that way again we are to savvy we are so smart
then why is are world falling apart at the seams because we don't want to learn any more! and ultimately isn't that the pentacle of Arrogance!
so you see there is a relationship between the guy at the nursery that doesn't know what coco chips are and why its important to learn and grow as much as possible all the days of your life no mater what your situation is
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:59 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Lag i posted that last part before you posted yours so when i cam back there was yours
No i defiantly got your point its vary hard to know every thing thats out there in the world i hear you on that and i commend you for finding a passion and going for it with all your hart thats the kind of behaver I'm talking about if every one did that look at what we could become as a people
its not important to know ever thing there is to know but what is important is knowing that we don't know every thing! but being open to the opportunity to learn when ever it comes are way.
the coco chip guy laughed at me if i was him i would have said i don't know what that is TELL ME ABOUT IT! and why because i want to know as much as i can its my passion and it is at the core of who i am and what i know to be one of the reasons I'm here on this earth along with Giving and receiving as much Love as i can

PS i think you are vary eloquent when it come to expressing your thoughts to me and other here on the org Keep doing it never feel that what you have to say isn't right i want to here ever thing you are wiling to express to me
we all have are ways of talking and thats what makes it interesting
as you well know I'm highly dyslexic and it takes extra time for me to wright
but i keep on doing it and so should
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:02 PM   #28 (permalink)
 
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I really don't understand what's happened here, but I'll go along for whatever reason.
Most of the people I referred to have no need to know such things or to seek out new methods (or forgotten methods) of growing. Some don't even have a lawn. My point was that I agree with you about it being difficult to find things or to share points of veiw on some things.
In regards to ignorance though, if one has no use for the information, finding it would be of no use. I'm not sure as to how this evolved to such a discussion.
I know very few people who can mount a .50 BMG to a turret, calibrate it , and ready it to fire. It's not that they're not wanting to better themselves, there's just no need for this knowledge to have ever been an issue in their lives.
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:04 PM   #29 (permalink)
 
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Okay, I posted that after you posted about not posting after I posted......
We need to get more in sync here
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:15 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I'm laughing that has happing to me several times in the past just one of the drawbacks of people all posting in close time intervals as they say **** Happens LOL

so back to the main topic you are making your own Biochar i take it
thats so cool
I cant we have sticked burning restrictions but i did find a sours of pure
charcoal that is sold for barbecuing it has no binders I've used it to cook many times its 3$ for 20lb and i think I'm going to use that along with the semi degraded wood chips and now that you mentioned the molasses i mite throw in some of that to ya ha! my garden will not know what this new soil is for LOL
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:49 PM   #31 (permalink)
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When I have the time and money, I'm planning to build a solar-powered biochar making machine. I've got some rudimentary plans on how its done. One of my thesis projects in college (BS Agric. Engineering), was to build a very cheap high precision solar water heater. It gives boiling hot water which helps sterilize from microorganism contamination and other parasites without burning wood. I can modify the design for making biochar.

My plan really is to turn grass clippings, fallen leaves, cuttings and trimmings from pruning, all into biochar. Today's design of charcoal often require solid wood and the grass clippings and other garden residues just turn into ashes. But the garden clippings and piles of leaves are the most abundant from my yard, and often they overflow my tiny compost bin so off to the streets they go. It is truly a waste.

I believe a solar powered biochar making machine is able to handle such grass clippings and leaves. One thing nice about the grass clippings is that it is already in powder form if they are turned into biochar.
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:54 PM   #32 (permalink)
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good idea Jo is there any way you could post the drawings?
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:04 PM   #33 (permalink)
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good idea Jo is there any way you could post the drawings?
I'm not good with AutoCAD drawings. So not for a while. But I can give you the basic idea. You would be making your own parabolic reflectors to focus on a barrel. It is the heat of the sun that will cook, without oxygen, the contents of the barrel. You will have to capture the gasses that comes out of the barrel, run it through a condenser to give you an excellent plant-derived insecticide and fungicide or biofuel, depending on the various stages of condensates (lighter ones comes first, then heavier ones). What remains is the biochar inside the barrel, and at the same time, you produce excellent natural insecticide and fungicide, and biofuel (which can be refined further for fueling your car). In this setup, nothing is wasted. More complex, more expensive, but very environmentally friendly.

If I can find scanners and my old drawings, will post it here, but that could take some time.
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:57 PM   #34 (permalink)
 
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:13 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I'm not good with AutoCAD drawings. So not for a while. But I can give you the basic idea. You would be making your own parabolic reflectors to focus on a barrel. It is the heat of the sun that will cook, without oxygen, the contents of the barrel. You will have to capture the gasses that comes out of the barrel, run it through a condenser to give you an excellent plant-derived insecticide and fungicide or biofuel, depending on the various stages of condensates (lighter ones comes first, then heavier ones). What remains is the biochar inside the barrel, and at the same time, you produce excellent natural insecticide and fungicide, and biofuel (which can be refined further for fueling your car). In this setup, nothing is wasted. More complex, more expensive, but very environmentally friendly.

If I can find scanners and my old drawings, will post it here, but that could take some time.

JOE. Email them to me, I can convert them to high-quality JPGs no problem. Better yet, email them to me and I can feature the DIY biochar maker in the next issue of Bananas Quarterly.
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:40 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Seems easier to buy a few bags of hardwood charcoal from the market and crush it up. Why spend all that the time and waste all that wood to make it yourself?
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:05 PM   #37 (permalink)
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JOE. Email them to me, I can convert them to high-quality JPGs no problem. Better yet, email them to me and I can feature the DIY biochar maker in the next issue of Bananas Quarterly.
Lorax, wish I could email my scratch papers. My first problem is finding them, then scanning my pencil sketches. And I don't have a scanner at the moment. Will find it someday and I will send to you.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:09 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Seems easier to buy a few bags of hardwood charcoal from the market and crush it up. Why spend all that the time and waste all that wood to make it yourself?
That would be my shortcut for now. There is horicultural grade charcoal for sale at our local Home Depot, but couldn't find it anymore. The BBQ charcoal briquites needs to be tried out as they seemed cheaper than the hort grade charcoal, but was hesitant due to the binders and other petroleum additives in it, but can't really dismiss it unless it's been tried. Anyone tried it? I know the hort grade charcoal are good for orchids.

My main problem are the grass trimmings from mowing, the leaves during the fall, and the wood waste from pruning. These are not good for making charcoal, and requires bigger energy to convert to biochar, unless you go solar.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:16 PM   #39 (permalink)
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It's my understanding that its not exactly charcoal. You have to burn it with a lack of oxygen and produce a charcoal that has residue with it. Its kinda of gummy. There's stuff in that gummy substance that spose to help.

Michael
Maybe this is why you have to make your own? Joe?
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:21 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Lorax, wish I could email my scratch papers. My first problem is finding them, then scanning my pencil sketches. And I don't have a scanner at the moment. Will find it someday and I will send to you.
You may not have a scanner, but you do have a digital camera! You can email your sketches after all. Shoot, email them to me and I'll turn them into AutoCAD drawings!
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