Dave Thompson Landscaping
Current photos of Richard’s backyard, 13 months after adding biochar to the soil at 1 lb/sq ft and Turface at 1.5 lb per sq/ft, 100 lbs of blood meal, 80 lbs of bone meal, and 10 lbs of lime (on approximately 850 sq ft of yard including the raised bed). Richard double checked with Phillip, his landscaper, to confirm that no fertilizer, compost, or anything else has been added since that time. The raised bed vegetable garden has been in continuous production of red kale with other vegetables being rotated in and out – no rest periods, no cover crops. Kale is not supposed to be replanted in the same soil for 3-4 years because it attracts a specific microbial pathogen, but obviously no sign of that yet. Also Richard has had almost no trouble with pests. He occasionally sprays BT on the veggies when he sees cutworm damage, but that’s about it.
I’m more impressed with the lawn than anything else, since I took care of one in that area for 20 years. I had to apply a heavy dose of Scott’s Organic Lawn Fertilizer to my lawn 2-3 times a year to keep it green, and it never looked nearly as lush as Richard’s. With the frequent irrigation required for a lawn, the original “excessive” amount of blood meal (which only resulted in a MEDIUM reading on the soil test), would have leached out of regular soil long ago.
The use of biochar in my backyard has created an amazing improvement to both my veggies and flowers. It’s such a joy for me be there and enjoy the healthy, happy plants. Thank you, biochar.
Did we hit it lucky with this Tesla Roadster version of terra preta? Is it truly self-fertilizing? Pest resistant? Pathogen resistant? More time will tell. The amounts of biochar and Turface applied per sq ft, though extreme by modern standards, are still way short of the proportions found in ancient terra preta – 8-10% biochar and 15-20% fired clay by volume.
My father and I started farming organic Avocados in the coastal mountains of Ventura County in 1997. The mountain soil is ancient sea bed and is very poor. We have worked hard over the years to improve the soil fertility and have constantly searched for new products and techniques that would increase our soil health and productivity.
1 year ago we changed our soil treatment method to include the use of Genesis BioChar. With the use of BioChar along with our organic fertilizing techniques, we have seen an increase in yield up to 250% over previous harvests. In some areas we achieved yields over 25,000lbs/acre, compared to the state average of 7,000lbs/acre.
It is possible there were other contributing factors such as favorable weather and rainfall, however, the use of BioChar has clearly made a substantial positive impact on our soil health and yield. Soil samples have shown large increases in beneficial fungi and microbial populations.
We have heard of the claims about the benefits of BioChar and we had to try it and see it for ourselves. After seeing the results on our farm, we are big fans of Genesis BioChar and are definitely going to continue to use it.
Sean and John Martin.