Scott White reports on a promising experiment with Terra Preta:
“Attached are two photos of my container sweet corn. The first photo is my corn planted and fertilized as I normally do with 13-13-13. (Please pardon the digit).
The second photo shows the same variety corn planted in your version of Terra Preta soil. Clay pottery broken up, a portion of creek bed soil/clay and lastly biochar charged with Dyna-Gro for 3 weeks:
INCREDIBLE difference, I think your analogy about the char acting like batteries is perfect! Anyway, I thought photos would do a better job of describing the difference. Thanks again, and congratulations on Good Books and your upcoming nursery business. You’ve really got things going since your return last fall. God’s Blessings to you and your family!”
Thank you, Scott – and good work.
This type of experimentation is quite valuable. If you missed my video on how I’m attempting to make terra preta, here it is:
And the update video from two months later:
In just two months we’ve seen a huge difference. Scott’s experiment is showing the same. Now we’ll see what happens as time goes by. If it “sticks” long term I will be quite pleased.
Great video. Mesmerizingly boring, I watched the entire 30-plus minutes and even some of the ads.
I tried a bit like this. Dug the trench about 3′ deep and piled in dead leaves, grass clippings and a whole lot of sticks and wood and burned it. Capped it with dirt and then added layers of kitchen waste and more leaves and grass.
I have been doing this, except for the burning wood part, for about ten years, but have been adding fireplace ash and charcoal. Every year in the fall a new trench is made across a section of the garden, so by now it has all been trenched. I’ll be very interested to see if adding the burning step makes a visible difference. I suspect not, since it has all been deep trenched with lots of stuff added over the years. It started out as heavy red clay, what was left after the builder strip mined the topsoil. Can hardly grow lawn grass in that stuff without lots of fertilizer.
There is a lot of paper in there too. We save the waste paper and whenever we get a grocery bag full it gets buried in the garden. It breaks down in about 2 years.