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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 06-03-2015, 09:36 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Going Bananas View Post
... Wouldnt experience and the use of grass clippings, coffee grinds, mulch, etc...
be sufficient ...
For fruiting bananas, no.
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Old 06-04-2015, 06:52 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
For fruiting bananas, no.
Sure can... been doing it for decades.

If you think homegrown tastes good... grass-fed is on a whole nother level.

It takes more effort but it's worth it..

The most common compliment I hear from my customers is

"Best Banana Ever"
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:31 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Going Bananas View Post
For the average hobbyist or home gardener...
Is it worth the price and return on your investment?
Wouldnt experience and the use of grass clippings, coffee grinds, mulch, etc...
be sufficient and more cost effective?
Whats the going rate $/pound for banana
in the market or farmers market?
It depends how poor your soils are to begin with. Carbon additions will improve yields immensely on poor sandy soils. Bananas at the market can sell from $0.75 to $2.00 per lb depending on variety
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Old 06-04-2015, 06:10 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

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... Carbon additions will improve yields immensely on poor sandy soils. ...
Depending on the form of the carbon. Some commercial and homemade varieties of Biochar have been shown to limit nitrogen availability to plants. Other forms of Biochar have been found to be beneficial in certain soils. A recent journal issue devoted to this topic can be found here: Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, Volume 177, Issue 5.
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Old 07-19-2015, 07:13 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Smile Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Burn pile in a working Montmorency cherry orchard.
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Burn pile before replant of cherry trees

by
Hostafarian
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on Flickr
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Old 07-21-2015, 03:58 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

This topic refuses to go away.
I forgot all about this one.
Ive also heard of wood chips as mulch limits
the absorbtion of nitrogen.
What some people do is mix in
manure or sulfate of ammonia with the wood chips
to supplement that limitation of N2 uptake.
Are there other sources of carbon other than biocharcoal?

Wouldnt regular wood chips/nuggets provide the same carbon source?
After all, the basic building block of organic matter comprises of CHON.
What we do is just recycle into differents
forms of carbon/hydrogen/oxygen/nitrogen.
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:15 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

For those of us that don't have a PHD in horticultural chemistry my humble opinion on bio-charcoal is this. "Charcoal briquettes" are made from pulverized compressed coal, a binder, and sawdust. I bought a bag to test and when it got wet it soaked up water an turned to mush. It sucks! I then bought "Lump charcoal" which in this case was baked Mesquite. It was unfazed by water so I am now crushing and using it in all plantings. So far so good.
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:57 PM   #28 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

I don't care about studies. I use biochar for one purpose. To create loose airy soil for better roots. Surprisingly even though I use big chunks of it the worms love it. They carry it deep in the soil. No doubt my soil looks better and plants get bigger. I grow mostly in mulch and biochar and it makes an excellent soil base. I don't soil test I just look at healthy can plants. I make it cone pit method.
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:00 PM   #29 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Going Bananas View Post
This topic refuses to go away.
I forgot all about this one.
Ive also heard of wood chips as mulch limits
the absorbtion of nitrogen.
What some people do is mix in
manure or sulfate of ammonia with the wood chips
to supplement that limitation of N2 uptake.
Are there other sources of carbon other than biocharcoal?

Wouldnt regular wood chips/nuggets provide the same carbon source?
After all, the basic building block of organic matter comprises of CHON.
What we do is just recycle into differents
forms of carbon/hydrogen/oxygen/nitrogen.
No because it does not keep consistency. Turns to muck. Biochar never gets mucky and keep decayed wood matter light and fluffy.
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Old 01-07-2016, 12:34 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Who is your employer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Botanical_Bryce View Post
I don't care about studies. I use biochar for one purpose. To create loose airy soil for better roots. Surprisingly even though I use big chunks of it the worms love it. They carry it deep in the soil. No doubt my soil looks better and plants get bigger. I grow mostly in mulch and biochar and it makes an excellent soil base. I don't soil test I just look at healthy can plants. I make it cone pit method.
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Old 01-07-2016, 12:40 AM   #31 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

I am. I maintain reptiles and arachnids as well as some handy services. How does my job pertain to biochar?
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Old 01-07-2016, 04:20 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Quote:
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I am. I maintain reptiles and arachnids as well as some handy services. How does my job pertain to biochar?
Do you have pictures taken in your garden of core samples or excavations that verify your statement
Quote:
Surprisingly even though I use big chunks of it the worms love it. They carry it deep in the soil.
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Old 01-07-2016, 07:13 PM   #33 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Make your own and try it. Don't take my word. I could show you but I smell a baiter.
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Old 01-08-2016, 03:12 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Quote:
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Make your own and try it. Don't take my word. I could show you but I smell a baiter.
So your statement here about the worms is a complete fabrication?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Botanical_Bryce View Post
... Surprisingly even though I use big chunks of it the worms love it. They carry it deep in the soil ...
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Old 01-22-2016, 02:58 PM   #35 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

This looks like an interesting read:

http://www.biochar-international.org...2--Oct2009.pdf

I've been using hardwood ash from fires in my yard for a while and the bananas seem to like it. As it raises pH (like biochar), I would be hesitant to use it too much around my plants that like more acidic soil.

It sounds like some folks use biochar in the form of bagged wood charcoal. Are there certain brands/types anyone would recommend? In the paper above, they mention "Real Montana Charcoal" as one with good potential.
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Old 01-22-2016, 03:05 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natureboy View Post
This looks like an interesting read:

http://www.biochar-international.org...2--Oct2009.pdf
...
Biochar-International is a marketing organization.

You can find real studies in soil science journals such as this one:
Effect of biochar, lime, and compost application on phosphorus adsorption in a Ferralsol
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Old 01-22-2016, 03:20 PM   #37 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

I make my charcoal in a cone pit method. I gather neighbors debris and convert it. I mix it with wood chips and compost and get great benefits. My best benefit is simply soil conditioning.
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Old 01-22-2016, 03:24 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Botanical_Bryce View Post
I make my charcoal in a cone pit method. I gather neighbors debris and convert it. I mix it with wood chips and compost and get great benefits. My best benefit is simply soil conditioning.
In your location, soil conditioning - particularly the input of carbon is a requirement for most plants. Soils elsewhere often do not benefit from Biochar - esp. terrestrial clays.
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Old 01-22-2016, 03:35 PM   #39 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

I do use charcoal raw but works better if it sets in the woodchips and compost for a while. Biochar was best addressed by one yard revolution on youtube and growing your greens. Growing your greens showed bugs eating the charcoal and beneficial fungus growing in it.
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Old 01-22-2016, 03:37 PM   #40 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Getting back to the inputs of "grass clippings, coffee grinds and such" and speaking only of experience growing bananas in FL, I can testify to the benefits of adding organic material in general to the soil. Richard seems to be keen on chemical fertilizers - and that's fine. I would just like to try to achieve the same or better results without them.

In my experience, *in Florida*, best results have been with moderate doses of Espoma (Holly or Citrus), fine mulch, coffee grounds, wood ash, and bi-annual thick applications of mushroom compost. Over the past couple years, I've found mushroom compost to be the key for me. It loosens up the soil and attracts huge amounts of earthworms. 200 fingers on my latest Namwah is enough direct evidence for me. Before using mushroom compost, I may have topped out at 120.
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