Saturday, 7 January 2012

Charcoal is breaking apart in the soil

There is very little evidence of charcoal in the sieved potato soil except for the larger lumps. This is the first area where I used inoculated charcoal.

In the early stages of my experiment I did not crush the charcoal.

I was putting these few large lumps to one side to crush before putting them back on the soil. However, there was little need to use the bull hammer because they seem to crumble easily between finger and thumb. Now I am not sure whether this is due to the soil, the type of charcoal or possibly the natural weathering of charcoal.

I have put quite a lot of charcoal onto this area over the three years that I have been trying this experiment and the charcoal seems to have broken down in to smaller and smaller pieces incorporating itself into the the soil structure.

An aside: What farmers consider as top soil is completely different to what allotment growers would consider top soil.  My top soil has considerably more organic matter and is much darker than this so called farm top soil.  I also had to remove a awful lot of stones - I will take a photograph of the stone that I have taken out.

The soil was particularly poor being replacement for contaminated soil on my allotment. Now, after adding charcoal and carefully cultivating,  this area of the allotment is cropping as well as the rest of the allotment.

 No shops are stocking charcoal this time of the year but you can still get it from the internet.
Just put that in so that I do not loose the web address, which I am always doing.

I have just bought some Takesumi charcoal to see if has any better properties than lump wood charcoal.

I am going to plant some more onions, tomatoes, summer cauliflowers (All the year round) celery and celeriac tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment