Biochar is a carbon-rich substance similar to charcoal used to amend soil to increase fertility. Biochar is inert, does not break down, and does not provide any nutrients directly, instead it is a substrate for microorganisms to colonize. It is made using pyrolysis from biomass heated in a limited oxygen environment.
Activate fresh and sterile biochar before using create a welcoming substrate for microorganisms. Activating biochar is unrelated to the process of activating carbon.
To activate biochar:
- Crush or pulverize large pieces into a powder.
- Inoculate the powderized biochar using one or more of the inoculates:
- Grass clippings in a 1:1 ratio
- Worm castings in a 1:1 ratio
- Poultry manure
- Use fresh biochar as a deodorizer in a coop and collect the inoculated biochar later.
- Human urine (not for use where biochar will come in contact with edible plants)
- Place biochar into a bucket with holes at the bottom
- Urinate as needed onto the biochar and cover with dried leaves