Exploring the Benefits and Best Uses of Biochar
These days, a growing number of people are cultivating their own marijuana at home, many of them using premium quality seeds from an american seed bank. Doing so gives medical patients and recreational users several advantages, not the least of which are better control over the quality of their crops, greater freedom of selection, and lower costs. Of course, plenty can be said for the value of having a virtually endless supply of cannabis on hand.
The medical marijuana seeds for sale on our website are not terribly difficult to grow. In fact, they have sprouted and flourished on their own in the wild for centuries, under even the harshest of conditions. Still, certain measures can help improve your chances of reaping a bountiful harvest. Though any number of products on the market claim to help boost growth and ramp up bud production, some are more effective and efficient than others.
Scientists and at-home growers alike are emphasizing the potential benefits of biochar in promoting marijuana growth. This natural alternative offers a long list of advantages over certain other products. If you’re looking for a helpful, environmentally friendly addition to your cannabis garden, biochar may be the solution.
What Is Biochar?
You may have likely heard of charcoal or activated carbon. They’re often used in gardening for a range of purposes. They’re also popular in water filtration systems because of their ability to trap pollutants. Biochar is similar to those products, but it has a few key differences.
Biochar is made by burning materials known as biomass. Biomass is essentially repurposed waste from plants and animals. Rather than actually burning biomass as you would charcoal in a grill, though, biochar is created through a process known as pyrolysis.
Pyrolysis entails applying heat to biomass in a controlled environment with very little oxygen. Since there’s limited oxygen available during the pyrolysis process, the biomass doesn’t actually burst into flames. Instead, it’s transformed into a stable, uncontaminated form of carbon that can be stored and used as needed.
After pyrolysis takes place, we’re left with biochar. It’s a fine, black, lightweight substance that contains mostly carbon. Nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen are some of the other elements left behind by the process, which also happen to be essential nutrients to marijuana growth.
Benefits of Using Biochar for Growing Cannabis
Growers can expect numerous advantages when using biochar in their cannabis gardens. This natural product helps plants to thrive in many ways. It’s one of the most efficient and effective soil additions on the market for several reasons.
Increases Soil Fertility
As mentioned, biochar contains certain elements your cannabis plants need to flourish. These include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, substances that also happen to be found in the most effective fertilizers. Biochar also offers several other minerals that help your plants grow healthy and produce the potent buds you’re looking for. It works in tandem with fertilizers to give your plants the ultimate blend of nutrients.
Improves Soil Quality
Unfortunately, the soil in many areas isn’t ideal for gardening. In some cases, it’s heavy and dense, so it doesn’t allow oxygen to get to plants’ roots. Because of this, the roots of your do si dos strain or bruce banner fem plants can’t take up the nutrients they need and may begin to decay. Other times, the soil is too fine and loose to retain water and nutrients. Plants may get more oxygen in these types of soil, but they won’t have the water and nutrients they need.
Even the most potent and carefully balanced fertilizers are ineffective if they wash away during the first heavy rainfall of the growing season. If the soil doesn’t offer the right amounts of water and oxygen, your plants probably won’t survive long enough to produce a healthy harvest. Biochar can help remedy these issues.
Biochar goes a long way toward improving the texture of loose or dense soil. In turn, those vital elements will actually stay in the soil where your plants’ roots can find them and put them to good use. In cases where the soil doesn’t drain well, biochar will help promote drainage and give plants’ roots the oxygen they need to remain healthy.
Enhances Water and Nutrient Availability
Despite being fine-grained and lightweight, biochar is highly porous and has an impressive surface area. As a result, it’s capable of capturing extra water and nutrients in its pores. It also improves the cation exchange rate of the soil, or the soil’s ability to attract the positively charged minerals and other elements needed for plant growth and health.
This means those vital elements are always available when your plants need them. If you forget to fertilize your cannabis plants or there’s too little rainfall, biochar can help bridge the gap and ensure your potted alien glue strain or purple haze fem weed plants survive regardless of the difficulties.
Encourages Helpful Microorganism Growth
It’s no secret many types of fungi and bacteria are dangerous to plants. They can attack leaves, stems, and roots, making it impossible for plants to grow. Still, certain types of microorganisms are beneficial to your marijuana plants.
Those helpful microorganisms offer several benefits for plant growth. They help improve the bioavailability of nutrients, boost plants’ abilities to take in those vitamins and minerals, and discourage the growth of harmful microorganisms among other advantages.
Because of biochar’s porous nature, it provides plenty of room for productive bacteria and fungi to feed off of nutrients and grow. The microorganisms can thrive when you add biochar to the soil. Then, they’re more capable of helping your plants do the same.
Regulates Soil pH Levels
Another way biochar promotes plant health is by balancing the pH level of the soil. Cannabis generally grows best in soil with pH levels between six and seven. This means the soil is neither too acidic nor too alkaline for the plants to survive.
Soil pH levels outside that range can have a number of negative effects on your plants. If the soil is too acidic, minerals will leach out more quickly. If it’s too alkaline, the plants won’t be able to take in as many vitamins and minerals as they need, which will lead to nutrient deficiencies. Those are only a couple of the possible negative impacts.
Soil pH varies over time. Adding fertilizer can change pH levels, and rainwater or watering plants from the garden hose may increase or decrease soil’s acidity as well. Biochar helps balance those pH levels to keep them within the optimum range for your marijuana plants. This also keeps minerals in the soil where your sativa or indica plants can use them and aids plants’ roots in taking in those vitamins and minerals as needed.
Reduces the Risk of Pest Infestation
Biochar helps protect your plants against harmful bacteria and fungi from the ground up, but it also safeguards them in other ways. Some insects and animals dislike the charred odor of biochar. If you incorporate it into your high thc marijuana garden, those pests might be less likely to damage your plants and buds before you have a chance to harvest them.
On top of all that, biochar offers quite a few environmental advantages over other products. As is the case with activated carbon, it filters impurities out of water supplies. It’ll prevent fertilizers from making their way into nearby streams or groundwater sources after you apply them to your garden. Since it helps keep vitamins and minerals in the soil and prevents pests and pathogens, it’ll reduce the need for chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides as well.
How To Use Biochar to Boost Your Cannabis Yields
Numerous biochar products are on the market right now. Each one comes with its own set of directions for use. How much you use and how often you apply it depends on certain factors as well, such as the condition of the soil and whether you’re using it for improving the quality of the soil or as a fertilizer booster.
That said, you should apply it to the soil rather than the plants themselves for it to truly be helpful. We recommend mixing biochar with compost before application because this helps enhance its effectiveness. From there, there are three specific methods of application. All of them entail mixing the biochar with the soil in your garden spot or planters.
Tilling Biochar into the Soil
Tilling the biochar and compost mixture into the soil is the best method of incorporating it into your garden because it needs to be in your plants’ root zones for optimum effectiveness. To do this, spread the suggested amount of the product over the ground before planting your cannabis. Then, use a tiller or hoe to work it into the soil.
Mixing Biochar into the Soil by Hand
As an alternative to tilling biochar into the soil, you can mix it by hand. This is the safest option if you’re adding it to the soil while your cannabis is already growing. Simply sprinkle the required amount of biochar around each plant and work it into the soil with your hand or a small garden spade. Just be careful not to damage the roots in the process.
Top Dressing the Soil
Top dressing is the easiest way to incorporate biochar into your marijuana garden, but it’s not always the most efficient or effective. Still, this method can certainly help improve fertility and plant growth. To top dress, apply biochar on top of the soil in your garden and water it thoroughly. After an hour or so, add a layer of compost to the mix.
In a Nutshell
Biochar is receiving a great deal of attention these days because of its numerous benefits for gardens as well as the environment. When used properly, it can double the soil’s water retention rates and greatly enhance fertility among other helpful improvements.
Keep in mind, the purity and effectiveness of your biochar depends on the source and how it’s made. It’s also best to follow the product’s specific directions to give your plants an added advantage. Be sure to use safety glasses, masks, and gloves during application as well. All your efforts are bound to be rewarded with a healthy cannabis crop and a generous harvest.