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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 03-27-2009, 06:21 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Default Re: biochar

When I checked last fall, horticultural charcoal was $12 per cubic yard from Hanson Aggregates (will call price).
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:45 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Default Re: biochar

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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!
Will try to do that, just have to find my sketches. Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:51 PM   #43 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: biochar

Don't use the briquettes. Too many chemicals in it (starch, borax, paraffin). You can use the lump charcoal but not mesquite (for reasons I don't remember). Again I don't think its exactly biochar but I still think it would be beneficial. Our local Andersons has bags of charcoal in the garden section (its actually on closeout right now).

Pyrolysis is the process of burning with the lack of oxygen:


Pyrolysis

Here is an interesting video of the benefits:

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Old 03-27-2009, 07:05 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Default Re: biochar

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Don't use the briquettes. Too many chemicals in it (starch, borax, paraffin). You can use the lump charcoal but not mesquite (for reasons I don't remember). Again I don't think its exactly biochar but I still think it would be beneficial. Our local Andersons has bags of charcoal in the garden section (its actually on closeout right now).

Pyrolysis is the process of burning with the lack of oxygen:


Pyrolysis

Here is an interesting video of the benefits:


About the briquittes, I have seen the documentary on how they're done. Suffice it to say that at least a scientific trial is needed to see if they are harmful or not tot he plants and under what conditions.

Another term for pyrolysis is gasification, and thus the gasifier is doing pyrolysis. You can control the products of pyrolysis by controlling the amount of oxygen and water going into the pyrolytic chamber. There are many useful products from pyrolysis depending upon how you control the air and water going into the chamber. Supplying water for example, can produce alcohol (the toxic kind), and supplying oxygen somwhere downwind of the chamber, can turn that alcohol into acetic acid which can be very effective herbicide. Limiting the oxygen will give you producer gas which becomes building blocks for liquid fuel. There are many variations and models of gasifiers. A friend of mine has developed one that creates direct fuel to power water pumps or electric generators in the farm, by slightly altering the carburetor of a standard Biggs & Stratton engine. Was asking him to supply me biochar.
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:20 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Also, I have a friend in Texas A & M University who developed a very nice gasifier that supplies hydrogen fuel from breakdown of biomass. One interesting thing is that the hydrogen goes into another project.

There is this very new technology of converting wood waste into alcohol without the use of fermentation. The technique is to first separate the agricultural waste into cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. The Cellulose and Hemicellulose are fed into aerobic chamber that has forest microorganisms which coverts it directly into acetic acid without releasing carbon dioxide. The lignin is then fed into the gasifier of my friend to produce hydrogen gas. The hydrogen gas and the acetic acid are reformed to produce alcohol, all without releasing carbon dioxide. This method is revolutionary in that there is no alcoholic fermentation involved and thus no carbon dioxide released. This results in production of more alcohol per unit biomass. Thanks to the wonders of thermo chemistry and biochemistry! But then again, we will have to wait for the bottom line analysis, which I think they are nearing to production costs of less than half than the current methods (usually involving alcoholic fermentation) of alcohol from biomass waste.

And the most wonderful this is that they have oodles of biochar that is produced from this process which can be plowed back into the soil. Too bad, I can't have those biochar. There is another project that is interested in their biochar which they are plowing back into the soil to recreate Amazon Terra Preta. I really love this kind of innovative approach to reusing waste and plowing back carbon into the soil.
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:51 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Default Re: biochar

Oh noes, they said global warming and climate change in the same video

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Here is an interesting video of the benefits:

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Old 03-27-2009, 10:15 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Default Re: biochar

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Don't use the briquettes. Too many chemicals in it (starch, borax, paraffin). You can use the lump charcoal but not mesquite (for reasons I don't remember).
Why not buy humic acid? It's a great source of organic carbon, a whole lot cheaper, easier to apply, and penetrates right away. A $3 bottle is usually plenty for a small suburban back yard.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:37 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Default Re: biochar

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Why not buy humic acid? It's a great source of organic carbon, a whole lot cheaper, easier to apply, and penetrates right away. A $3 bottle is usually plenty for a small suburban back yard.
They are two different products and different purposes. Biochar improves the soil by improving aeration, nutrient and water use efficiency. Biochar also increases the effectivity of humic acid so that you wouldn't need to use a lot of it. Humic acid doesn't last very long and degrades, releasing carbon into the atmosphere. Biochar lasts forever when incorporated into the soil. Biochar when plowed into the soil entraps its carbon forever, never to be recycled back.

There is an upcoming Herbal Organic Concentrate that has humic acid and other nutrients being marketed in the Philippines and it costs $1/bottle and is a lot much better than just humic acid alone because it has more chelated nutrients.
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Old 03-28-2009, 12:17 AM   #49 (permalink)
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There is an upcoming Herbal Organic Concentrate that has humic acid and other nutrients being marketed in the Philippines and it costs $1/bottle and is a lot much better than just humic acid alone because it has more chelated nutrients.
I think this is the one derived from rutile sand deposits? When it breaks down it leaves elemental carbon in the soil. Humic acid is a natural chelating agent, so the manufacturer has taken the opportunity to fortify it with micronutrients. It is also available in the U.S. The typical application rate is 2 quarts per acre.
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:51 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Default Re: biochar

thanks for all the good info every one i had no idea when i started this thread that it would bring out such a productive conversation beats the hell out of chatting endlessly about spider mites (no offense to any one that likes chatting about mites) LOL

o and i can get charcoal from the grocery store that is 100% char theres no binders in it when you open the bag it looks just like the cinders you get in a camp fire that has not burned completely it says on the side of the bag "no binder" the brand is Cowboy Coal it also states on the bag that is 100% natural and contains no toxic additives
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:14 AM   #51 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: biochar

When this thread started I didn't really have an interest and now it's the newest thing I'm into in gardening. Thanks Pauly.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:29 AM   #52 (permalink)
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thanks for all the good info every one i had no idea when i started this thread that it would bring out such a productive conversation beats the hell out of chatting endlessly about spider mites (no offense to any one that likes chatting about mites) LOL

o and i can get charcoal from the grocery store that is 100% char theres no binders in it when you open the bag it looks just like the cinders you get in a camp fire that has not burned completely it says on the side of the bag "no binder" the brand is Cowboy Coal it also states on the bag that is 100% natural and contains no toxic additives

We have that brand and a few others available locally. This is actually what I use to BBQ. When lit with a chimney starter it smells great!
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Old 03-28-2009, 02:40 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Default Re: biochar

Great job Pauly, I use charcoal in many of my containers for TC, so it only makes sense to use it in containers and as a soil additive. Hospitals use it to absorb toxins that people swallow, drug O/D's, etc. The stuff I buy for TC is also recommended as a daily dietary supplement to help rid the body of several bad substances.
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:08 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Hmm i thought at least one person would say somthing about the Spider Mite coment LOL
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:16 PM   #55 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: biochar

Hey Pauly, would you cook with this basil?
Click on the pic, then click again to zoom!
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:00 PM   #56 (permalink)
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ooww yuck!
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:39 AM   #57 (permalink)
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Default Re: biochar

on but slightly off the subject i went out to lows yesterday and they had some of the charcoal i was looking for so i got a bunch of it along with Cocoa chips a really good off brand of cow manure and some of my favorite compost along with a few other plants that i needed to finish my French stile planting bed that forms the approach to my front door and to work i went i mixed up all the stuff plus i added sea weed extract to it

well 8hr later i had planted all the lungstrum as well as a couple of the rose trees and then i added a layer of it to the enitgher bed working it in around the plants obversely i cant till as theres many mature plants already living happily in this bed but I'm sure it will help nun the less

it was hard work but i feel i did something for my plants that can only make them happier and will suck up some of the Carbon in the atmosphere in and around Vegas it was so cool how good the soil looked after i did that for those of you that don't know what passes for soil here in Vegas is just about only sand and lots of rocks so any time i add to that it helps dramatically
I'm hoping that the new plants do well its a bit late in the year to be planting with the approaching heat of summer coming I did put up some shade cloth to protect the roses that i planted from the direct affects of the sun
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:03 AM   #58 (permalink)
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Default Re: biochar

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Hey Pauly, would you cook with this basil?
Click on the pic, then click again to zoom!
not till after all the buggies were gone. lol. oh well whats a little protine that makes you "wiggle and giggle and tickles inside you".....yummy, tasty tasty
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:43 PM   #59 (permalink)
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Default Re: biochar

just a quick update on the biochar garden alls good in this realm all the new plants i put in sunday are doing grate nun of the normal shock i tend to get becaus of the hot sun i atribut this to the high levals of organics i put in i know its to soon to see any afects from the biochar i alsow thing the kelp micros realy are helping one of my orchid buddys swars this stuff can keep a plant from cossing over if you spray it on the folge in its last 20seconds of life LOLi dose seem to bring younger plants out of shock and lastly the cocoa chips i uesd as top dreesing have the most wanderful aroma of chocolat and i have to say that after spreading manure the chocolat sent is a nice change of pace i highly recomend them if only for the smell and they do a dam passabal job of keeping the mosture in
thats all for now
Paul
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:37 PM   #60 (permalink)
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Default Re: biochar

I found the Cowboy coal at Walmart after practically sitting on the floor of Lowes and Walmart reading the bags of several brands. I had forgotten what brand to look for so was just searching for something that didn't have binders. Next step is to go crush it up and spread it!

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