What is the "shelf life" of charged but unused biochar? If I create it, charge it up with a fungal-dominant compost tea, a bit of minerals and some nitrogen, how long will it stay good in a 5 gallon bucket? Does it need to breathe? Stay moist? Stay cool/warm?
Hi Dan. I often let charged biochar sit around for weeks at least before I get it all into the ground or pots. I tend to store it in either barrels or bags, usually in an old wool fadge. These are a little bit breathable and let excess water drain away, so if the stuff gets rained on it doesn't end up submerged. I would think that as long as it's aerated and doesn't dry out or get really hot or cold that the wee beasties will be quite happy in the porous structure.
Whenever I catch myself getting worried about soil microbiology, I remind myself that bacteria and fungi are globetrotters. Soil life has been found in air samples taken at the tops of the Himalaya. If they land somewhere habitable they will flourish, and this is why that rich soil smell is pretty much a constant no matter where you go...it's the same major families of bacteria and fungi, just varying in local composition according to what they're living in.