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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 02-16-2015, 01:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme? | Latest News | Earth Island Journal | Earth Island Institute
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Old 02-16-2015, 08:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Read all about it here:
Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science - Volume 177, Issue 5 - October, 2014 - Wiley Online Library
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Reading that gave me a headache
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

feeding it to cows to make them emit less gas
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Tony,

Admittedly I didn't read through the whole article. I've grown cautious of products containing the labels bio-anything ever since I learned that "bio-solids" in our fertilizers and soil mixes was just a pleasant sounding way of hiding pelletized chemical waste products such as toilet bowl cleaners or Prozac! What's worse is when I inadvertently discovered the fact that most of our Florida citrus groves are being fertilized with the pelletized sewage of NYC.

Biosolids Management Program "Plants grown in soils where biosolids have been applied are more resistant to disease and drought conditions."

Oranges Fertilized With Sludge Boston Sewage Contains Toxic Metals, Raises Safety Concern - Sun Sentinel

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Old 02-17-2015, 06:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

An important part of growing bananas is maintaining loose soil for rapid root growth and charcoal does that great and seems to last forever.

I also use it for my orchids and always have several blooms everyday of the year.




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This local favorite is going to be an incredibly big beautiful bunch.

The size is just amazing, this will be well over 55 lb, and the only soil amendments were some charcoal and grass clippings, no fertilizer was needed or used.

It's even more impressive when compared it to the local United States Tropical Agricultural Research Station's average of 25 lb using drip irrigation with soluble 20-20-20+ micros and Osmocote slow release 19-16-12.

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"Brazilian. The fruit is subacid and of poor quality; it has little to recommend it as a dessert banana, and its acceptance in Hawaii seems to be a good example of the power of need and habit in influencing the demands of a market." - Norman Simmonds - Musa Hall of Fame





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Old 02-17-2015, 08:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

In the studies I've read - including those in the link previously provided - Biochar tends to bind Nitrogen thus making less available to plants.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

I've been using it on my farm for decades and 'Nitrogen Binding' has not been a problem or even noticeable.

If a banana plant loses a small percentage of available nitrogen due to binding, but then increases it's root zone by 200% or 300% due to the loose soil, it's easy to see the net effect is a dramatic increase in nitrogen and other nutrients available to the plant.

There was an earlier discussion about coffee grounds binding nitrogen thus making less available to plants, so I filled a pot with 100% coffee grounds added a banana plant and just water. The plant grew and produced fruit like other bananas, here's a photo of the roots the day it was put in the ground.



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In the studies I've read - including those in the link previously provided - Biochar tends to bind Nitrogen thus making less available to plants.
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Old 06-02-2015, 12:22 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Here's a recent study on the use of Biochar in a category of tropical soils known as Ferralsols in some quarters and Oxisols elsewhere.

The results are mixed. Note that conclusions based on Ferralsols have little or no application to soils in the majority of the U.S. and Canada but might help some members in tropical regions.

Effect of biochar, lime, and compost application on phosphorus adsorption in a Ferralsol
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY - FACT SHEET

The nature of phosphorus in soils : University of Minnesota




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Old 06-02-2015, 12:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

There were a lot of presentations on biochar at the most recent Soil Science Society meeting. Results appeared to be variable depending on what the source of the biochar was, how hot it got, and what kind of soil it was applied to. I particularly remember poor results with high temperature treated almond shells in California. But, decent results with rice hulls here in Florida.
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Old 06-02-2015, 02:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolas Naranja View Post
I particularly remember poor results...
Sometimes "poor results" can be ambiguous, was it...

a harmful impact on the soil?

or

a low return on investment as an amendment?



I think a lot has to do with expectations.

I attribute much of my success growing a'ea'e with using biochar. It's been the great equalizer against stupidity, in the past fungal rot was a problem and now it's barely a memory. It certainly improves aeration in the soil and retains moisture well.


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Old 06-02-2015, 04:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Hello Everyone!
My first post on here I might ad.
Borrowing from palm culture (palmtalk.org)
to address the top 7 from the WSU List,
palm vendors from Hawaii use
crushed volcanic rock &
some use a mix with pine bark.
Everything is naturally organic
and no greenhouse gasses
emitted in its production.

Cheers!
Ritchy
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Old 06-02-2015, 06:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I attribute much of my success growing a'ea'e with using biochar. It's been the great equalizer against stupidity, i
]
AEAE.... its whats for dinner.

I attribute much of my success in grilling using biochar.
It's been the great equalizer against stupidty.
I've been using it for decades.


.Biochar....good on the grill, and in the ground! by Hostafarian, on Flickr
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Less trees...more biochar....more AEAE for dinner.



Quote:
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AEAE.... its whats for dinner.

I attribute much of my success in grilling using biochar.
It's been the great equalizer against stupidty.
I've been using it for decades.


.Biochar....good on the grill, and in the ground! by Hostafarian, on Flickr
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Poor results as in reduced plant growth. It just doesn't seem to be uniformly good for everybody.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:48 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

Weber grill, biochar, aeae pup.
.It IS what IS for dinner...
Burn them if you got them.

Untitled by Hostafarian, on Flickr
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Biochar: Black Gold or Just Another Snake Oil Scheme?

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?
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:11 AM   #19 (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 is a HOBBY and like with most hobbies, the return on your investment does not necessarily matter. I personally think that any homegrown banana has a better flavor than a supermarket one, so it is worth the investment right there.
I would be careful with the "black gold" charcoal, but in case of an AeAe I can picture its benefits if used in moderation.
Unfortunately, just grass clippings, coffee grinds and such would not be sufficient for growing banana plants in my soil.
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:36 AM   #20 (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?
For whatever reason organic material seems to work really well in financially conservative areas. It works well in the Caribbean and has worked well in Africa for thousands of years.

"To improve soil fertility, cow dung and grass are dug into the soil... It takes some work, but the result is that large green fronds shade the plantation and banana bunches hang heavy with good-sized fingers."


None of these new (FHIA) hybrids are exactly like matooke... The taste is certainly different but... 'These people's taste for life is stronger'




Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Barros View Post
I found something :

The 'FHIA' good factor for Ugandan bananas


I think that this is the multipurpose variety that the Article talks..........called Kabana 3 (FHIA 17)........???

"Imported from Honduras, this 'FHIA' planting material is known locally as Kabana and several varieties are proving particularly popular. Kabana 3 (FHIA 17), for instance, is a multipurpose variety which can be roasted, fried, or eaten fresh."


???
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