In 2007, Carbon Gold was founded by Briton Craig Sams, the former president of the Soil Association and founder of Green & Blacks Chocolate. With Carbon Gold, Craig Sams strives to help mitigate climate change and support sustainable food production by developing Biochar-based products and projects. Biochar sustainably captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and improves soil fertility.
Biochar is a purified form of charcoal that improves the structure, aeration and water retention capacity of soil and substrates. Biochar has a carbon content of virtually 100%, making it high stable and non-degradable. For every tonne of Biochar put into the soil, three tonnes of carbon are permanently removed from the atmosphere. The highly porous structure of the material provides a permanent habitat for beneficial soil life and captures nutrients.
Biochar and Terra Preta
Biochar is one of the oldest agricultural aids in the world. In Central America and the Amazon region, locals used charcoal to improve the soil as long as 2500 years ago. The soil here has since become very fertile and is called Terra Preta, or black earth in Portuguese.
Biochar is a very porous form of charcoal, making it an excellent soil conditioner:
• Biochar retains water
• Biochar captures nutrients (cation exchange capacity, CEC)
• Biochar is a habitat and food source for soil life
Enriched Biochar from Carbon Gold
Biochar from Carbon Gold is made of fine charcoal particles (0-5mm), enriched with high concentrations of Mycorrhiza and Trichoderma strains, as well as seaweed and worm humus. Biochar is a one-off addition to the substrate or cultivation layer for potted plants, cut flowers or tree nursery stock.
What does enriched Biochar do in the substrate?
A potting soil is usually a mixture of different raw materials such as peat, coir, perlite, and more, as well as fertilisers. Thanks to highly porous Biochar, potting soils can retain more water and nutrients. Enriched Biochar has a high cation exchange capacity (CEC), which allows it to capture high quantities of cations (K, Mg, Ca, Mg and trace elements Mo, Bo, Fe, Zn, etc.). Nutrients that would normally be flushed out of the soil are captured by the Biochar, so that they can nourish the plants.
These nutrients are made available to the plants by the added Mycorrhizas and soil life. This fungus forms a symbiotic relationship with trees and plants to feed them.
The worm humus in the enriched Biochar prompts actinomycetes to convert organic matter into humic and fulvic acids. Fulvic acid is a molecule that binds to many (trace) elements and transports them to plant cells. The worm humus is high in bacteria and protozoa, which play a key role in the soil and in plant resilience.
Biochar also enhances the effect of Trichoderma, which grows around the root and has a preventative effect on disease and nematodes. Soil life, consisting of beneficial fungi, bacteria, protozoa and more, competes with harmful organisms, which means they have to do battle against the soil life around the root before they can attack the plant.
BBiochar is a natural product that does not degrade in the soil. Because it is so stable, it only has to be added to the soil once to remain active throughout the entire growing window. Biochar is a great way to quickly start up a small, new ecosystem in a pot or substrate. Quality Biochar Carbon Gold Biochar meets even the strictest requirements and is the only Biochar on SKAL’s list of organic growing inputs. (search: GroChar of Carbon Gold)
Carbon Gold’s Biochar is made from organic matter (FSC Wood/Biochar)
- The raw material, e.g. untreated wood, is classified as a product rather than as waste.
- Thorough analysis has shown that the end product meets all legal requirements.
Only enriched Biochar made from FSC-certified wood is suitable for high-grade applications in the floriculture sector.
Biochar in the potting soil
Benefits of enriched Biochar:
• More air and oxygen in the substrate. Oxygen is very important for the activity and development of soil life, as well as the development of young roots
• More homogeneous distribution of water throughout the pot
• Roots are colonised by beneficial fungi, bacteria, protozoa and more
• The soil life will feed plants (Mycorrhiza) and make it easier for the plants to absorb nutrients
• Soil life (Trichoderma) protects crops. Helps crops become more vital and increases resistance to diseases and pests
• Plants will develop a very strong root ball
• Seeds will germinate more homogeneously, producing more usable plants
• Less plant loss
•More compact growth and more branching (reducing dependence on regulators)
In the sowing or cutting phase, we recommend mixing 7 kg of Biology Blend per m3 of potting soil. Generally, 10% weight by volume is recommended, which corresponds to approx. 30-45kg/m3 of potting soil. If the plants have already been treated during cultivation, reduce the amount of Biology Blend added to the potting soil. In cultivation substrates we recommend 15-22 kg per m3 of potting soil. Please do not hesitate to contact us for advice tailored to your specific situation.