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need help..I have a carbon question???

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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Ok my hubby has saved up a bunch of partially burned bits of wood from our wood boiler..carbon bits..large and small..and some ash too.

well generally I would rototill them into the soil..but my tiller won't work ..and he isn't about to get it fixed right away..and i have most of my gardens planted now in a no till system anyway..so i was wondering?

could I broadcast those bits of carbon over the garden..like i would with sheet composting?

i know i probably want to keep them away from my acid loving plants like the blueberries..etc..?

if anyone knows how i can go about this..or if it will create problems let me know as soon as you are able please.

we have a cold front coming in tomorrow..with rain so I won't be going out there then..likely..but some of it has been raked up and put in wagons and stuff and if i'm going to get it done..i'd just soon do it on Sunday or Monday...or early next week ..

 
Dave Boehnlein
Posts: 294
Location: Orcas Island, WA
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How much material are we talking about?

Dave
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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About a pick up truck load..I did an internet search and did find a few places where they said it was OK to broadcast it on the crops as long as they didn't mind alkaline soil..so i need to research what plants i have that don't mind alkaline soil..

It also did say that it was BEST to incorporate it into the top layer of the soils where the find feeder roots could get ahold of it..but as I am not planning on doing that we'll just see how much it helps.

I do have a few areas that are NOT PLANTED yet..where some summer crops will go like corn, beans, melons, squash, etc..things that require warm soil..so I'm thinking of broadcasting it and then raking it in really good and trying to work it up a slight bit before putting in the seed..

I also thought I would make a list of plants that i'm growing ..trees, shrubs, berries, perennials..etc..as well as seeds..that prefer acid/alkaline..and cross reference them with plants that prefer manure/no manure..

i have the manure and the char that needs to go on and if figured i could mix the manure with the char for the plants the can use it..and put it on at the same time..which not only will save some trips..but also maybe make the char more usable..

in most cases it will be broadcast or applied directly around the plants..i figure maybe the earthworms will work it into the soil..i'm also using a lot of wood chips in almost all of my gardens (we have a wood fired boiler that heats 2 houses so we have a lot of both fine and heavy wood chips)..The worms LOVE the wood chips and work at them as soon as they go on the soil..which I did this last week.

I figure if the char and manure as well as our compost ..is worked together with the wood chips..it will get into that top layer of soil eventually anyway...thanks to our worms..or maybe just MAKE the top layer of soil over the course of the year..

generally in the spring I only find the larger wood chips remaining after a year..they have been pretty much well incorporated into the soil by then anyway.

 
Dave Boehnlein
Posts: 294
Location: Orcas Island, WA
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Sounds to me like what you're doing is just fine. You're not talking about a ton of material, so spreading it around shouldn't be much of a problem.

Dave
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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thanks Dave I think so too..it will be an experiment..and we'll see if it makes a difference this year with the plant viability...I'm really excited about my gardens this year..this will be my first year i've allowed myself time to pay attention the the land in about 8 years..or more..and it needs my attention..and honestly..i need it this year..

my blood pressure is down now..(off medicine for both blood pressure and depression..off..completely)

i feel my health streaming back and now maybe my property will feel it's health streaming back as well.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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All that I've read says charcoal works best when it's smaller than 1cm, and has been soaked in something nutrient-rich, like urine or nearly-finished compost.

I would not be surprised if worms eat some of the charcoal.  It would be interesting to pick through some of the worm castings in a few months, and see if they have helped to incorporate it.
 
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