I am taking part in the Biochar Experiment run by the Centre for Agroecology and Food Security at Coventry University. This aims to assess the effect of biochar supplements to soil when growing root vegetables. The trial and control beds that I prepared have now each been sown with 2 rows of the carrot seed supplied (Nantes 2). I had not judged the amount of seed accurately while sowing, so the final row was sown a little more thinly compared to the others – since the carrots will be thinned to the same final spacings once they start growing I hope that this should not cause too much of a problem. Both the trial and control beds are 1 square Metre in size (200x50cm) and one (on the left/South side) has had the biochar incorporated. I had to record the soil texture (silty clay loam) and pH (5.75). The instructions for determining the soil texture were not at all clear (and were headed ‘How to Determine the Structure of Your Soil’ – a different thing entirely!), but fortunately I have access to a reliable method of determining soil texture (I use the method in the Earth Care Manual, but see also the bottom of this page for the method).
I will record progress of the experiment in due course …
Both beds now have seedlings emerging – although they are rather small. I am suddenly reminded how I love buttered organic carrots – time to prepare more carrot beds!