Plants are wonderful for the soul. We love to surround ourselves with them. Whether you have room for a few potted plants in an apartment or you run a greenhouse filled with thousands of plants, Turtleback Biochar® will transform how you grow. Biochar can be used in almost every corner of your yard.
Biochar vegetable gardens produce plants with rich dark leaves and produce super-abundant crops that taste better than ever. Biochar flower gardens and rockeries support prolific growth requiring less weeding, less watering and produce longer-lasting brilliant blooms.
Rain and watering help your plants survive but also leech out important nutrients. Perhaps you’ve seen the yellowish leaves after a rainy growing season? Biochar helps by holding these nutrients close to the roots where they are needed.
Biochar container gardening promotes the best use of available nutrients and provide protection from drying out. Biochar lawns are rich and dark, requiring less fertilizer and, if cared for properly, no herbicides. Biochar trees and shrubs develop stronger root systems. Biochar water plants filter water more efficiently keeping your water clean.
What is Biochar?
Turtleback Biochar® is an ancient horticultural and gardening tool that will never wear out.
Biochar is not a fertilizer but a soil enhancement. Biochar reduces soil acidity but it adds no nutrients on its own. As long as 7,000 years ago ancient Amazonian cultures combined charred organic biomass, waste, shards of pottery, bone and fragments of turtle shell into their soils and through time transformed poor soils into dark, fertile earth known as Terra preta.
Such ancient secrets enabled agriculture to flourish and support a civilization. Terra preta soils are still productive today. These same ancient secrets can be used in your soils.
Biochar captures essential nutrients for feeding plants for much longer than fertilizer alone. In fact, you may find that you use less fertilizer while improving growth and yields. Biochar is a tool for building healthier fertile soils that will boost plant health, productivity and resistance to drought.
Sustainable Turtleback Biochar
Our organic biochar is made with sustainably-sourced renewable resources. We divert biomass from a local sawmill and brush piles that otherwise would be burned. When wood is burned it releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. When you put the heating needs of the whole planet together many believe that this has an impact on our climate. While we also produce heat from diverted biomass we believe it’s better to capture carbon as biochar for your use in your home and garden. Hard to believe but true – purchasing biochar is great for your garden and contributes to a healthier environment for all of us.
How is Biochar Made?
Simply put, biomass is baked in high temperature, oxygen limited environments that cook off the natural compounds found in the biomass. Wood that undergoes this baking process comes out looking just like the wood did going in, but black and a fraction of the weight.
To the naked eye, it appears that the wood has remained unchanged and is only blackened. Upon closer inspection you can feel that it is now feather-light. In fact, whole logs can crumble with a single touch. The temperatures physically change the molecular structure of the carbon atoms. Biochar does not biologically decay and cannot be digested by soil microbes. This allows biochar to remain very stable for long periods of time, hundreds to thousands of years actually!
The simple structure of biochar is deceptive. The truth of the matter is that we cannot actually see the difference with our own eyes. Seen through powerful microscopes, biochar contains vast areas of sponge-like micropores. A single gram of biochar may have huge surface areas of 840 m2 (1000 square yards). This is one of the secrets of biochar. The transformation process converts each tiny fragment of biochar into a huge sponge capable of holding 10X more water by volume and providing important living places for soil microbes and fungi. Like a magnet, biochar attracts and holds essential micronutrients for enhanced plant growth. The pores also bring air into the soil and down to the roots where it is needed.