Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A change of seasons..eventually...we hope.

Perth isn't having an autumn this year. There's still been none, or barely any, rain. It's over halfway through autumn and today is the first below 30C we've had. Or nearly. There were a couple of overcast days, bringing the hope of not having to hand water the summer's surviving plants.
It is encouraging though as vege seedlings will survive much more easily at this time of year and there are lots of deciduous fruit trees for sale at the nurseries.

Given that I have a little more time free all of a sudden (having quit the stats unit) the garden may get a bit of attention from me.
P has been making charcoal lately. We found a website on how to make a simple charcoal retort, to produce your own carbon capturing soil addition.
Simple char. Two barrel charcoal retort.
The charcoal has carbon trapped in it that will stay in the soil for decades. It appears to harbour beneficial soil organisms and has a huge surface area so it can hang on to nutrients, increasing soil fertility.
Terra preta study at Cornell University.

In industry the byproducts of combustion can be used to power the charcoal factory. Any biomass can be used to produce the char so wastes can be used. Once the carbon is in the char in the ground it stays there for a long time, keeping it out of the atmosphere.
Done on a large scale this could make a big difference to the amount of carbon in the atmosphere while increasing fertility in the poor soils of Perth and elsewhere.
So we'll see how the garden that has had charcoal added to it does compared to the other beds.

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