Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Can BioChar control pests?...

Last summer, we conducted a test with BioChar using black-eyed peas.  The results were pretty amazing.  The BioChar grown black-eyed peas produced almost two times as many black-eyed peas as the non Bio-Char group. During this study, the plants with BioChar actually started producing flowers about 2 weeks sooner, on plants that were 1.5 times bigger.  I was quite impressed.

This spring, we planted turnips in the square crates and rectangle crates.  The square crates had BioChar added from last years tests and rectangle crates grew green beans the summer before with no BioChar.  The rectangle crates had everything else the square crates had (a compost blend, worm castings, the same amount of organic fertilizer, etc..) otherwise.

Square crate with 2" layer of BioChar. Notice no pest problems!

The four square crates and and six rectangle crates in the background. 

More pest problems with the rectangle crates.

What I have noticed so far is about 30% to 50% more growth, and pest resistance. The interesting thing is they are all very close to each other, so pest should have no problem getting to the square crates from the rectangle ones.

The obvious -  turnips are getting more nutrition and are healthier, thus, less appealing to pests looking for a midnight snack.  That in it self is enough to appease my skeptical mind. I hope to have a follow up article after harvesting these beautiful turnips and taking some brix readings...

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