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More biochar for some fruit trees?
persimmons, paw paws, biochar
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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
(Offline)
1
July 26, 2023 - 7:56 pm

I have noticed for decades that my pawpaw trees seem to suffer when we get lots of dry heat and not any rain in the summer.  I water them and they look better.  Then I    biocharred it and it doesn't seem to be suffering in the summer like it used to. 

I noticed that my Garretson persimmon wasn't producing much, so I gave it much more biochar. Now it's producing like gangbusters again. Biochar can retain 6 times its volume in water, so that makes sense as an anecdote.

I grafted another new Garretson persimmon and it seems to be suffering in the drought.  I'm giving it extra water now, but I think I"ll give it extra biochar to see if it helps.

My Szukis persimmon looks to be suffering from too much drought. When I give it extra water, it looks happy again.  I think I"ll give it extra biochar. 

My H-118 Prairie Star persimmon had lost all of its fruit in the last couple of years due to high heat and no rain.  I'm watering it more now, but I'm going to try to give it extra biochar to see if it can retain its water and fruit.

Pawpaws and American persimmons (all persimmons, actually) are native to rainy summer climates. It makes sense that they wouldn't be used to dry summer heat like we get on the West Coast. 

Has anyone else noticed effects like this?
JOhn S
PDX OR

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Chris M
Philomath, OR
156 Posts
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2
July 27, 2023 - 9:34 am

John,

Do you buy the biochar or make it yourself? I have a fair bit of limbs fall down each year and I wonder if making the biochar with the wood is worth it.

 

Chris

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
(Offline)
3
July 28, 2023 - 10:15 pm

I make it myself.  It has made a very big difference in some of my trees.  It's way worth it to me.  This is the video that convinced me I could do it.  YOu may have acreage, in which case you could use other techniques too.

list=PLy9hFdI8EDMmQDvG_bqHQcc2nkr2INqf8

John S
PDX OR

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Chris M
Philomath, OR
156 Posts
(Offline)
4
July 29, 2023 - 7:35 am

Fascinating John, do you charge the biochar before using it, or just go for it?

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
(Offline)
5
July 29, 2023 - 7:51 am

I recommend that anyone crush it and then charge it.  I think that a lot more people could benefit from doing this.

 

For more details, check out

https://permies.com/f/190/biochar

John S
PDX OR

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
793 Posts
(Offline)
6
August 3, 2023 - 10:02 am

I find John's crop improvements fascinating too.

Science is starting to find how this works and on a closer level while experimenting with tomato plants. Scientists view the turning of specialized genes that are associated with hosting the beneficial fungi in the earth.

This picture here is hosted inside phys dot org. The top control is tomato. The very active in the top middle is Wheat Straw (WSB). The inactive in the top right is Chicken Manure (CMB), which should be avoided when charging biochars because it suppresses plant immunity, which I think correlates (as in John S persimmons) to plant fertility.

Clicking on the physical dot org image will land you on the article.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
(Offline)
7
August 3, 2023 - 11:17 am

Interesting ideas, Rooney.

It's definitely phys.org, not physical .org. I searched for the article on there and I couldn't find it.

I often use chicken bones in my biochar, but not chicken manure. I have read where a small percentage of bone is good for the biochar.

John S
PDX OR

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
793 Posts
(Offline)
8
August 3, 2023 - 3:34 pm

I meant for you to click on the picture using some physical effort that invokes your hand, mouse, and the image I placed in the above.

The article when you get there indicates a controversy between phosphates in priming biochar and not having phosphates which you will see when you get there. And like I said before it's going to be interesting to see if the experimental results will eventually show us if this withholding of phosphates applies more than just to tomato plants. It is even plausible that this benefit relates to better selfing abilities (ie. fertility).

This is the same Phys dot org article

I acknowledge the part on my side from before that caused this misunderstanding. Sorry.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
(Offline)
9
August 3, 2023 - 4:03 pm

Thanks Rooney,

I got it now.  This is actually partially pretty well known about phosphorus.  It makes sense that the fungi will not develop an extensive system if they're living in a phosphorus rich environment.  They'll put their efforts elsewhere. I like the connection between immunity and phosphorus though.  I don't think Ive ever seen that.  I love how the biochar supports the mycorrhizae to set up this positive system. 

 

John S
PDX OR

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