A biochar experiment Using Germinal WF 19 Pollinators Paradise and WFG18 Butterfly and Honey Bee Mixture ( http://www.germinalamenity.com/products/pollinators/flower-mixtures ) has been established at Stockwell Street.
Biochar comprises the smaller parts of charcoal and is currently being researched as an additive to improve soil quality in agriculture and as a means of carbon sequestration.
The objectives of the experiment is to ascertain the effectiveness of biochar in facilitating effective growth of wildflower mixes on green roofs as it holds water and nutrients. The experiment uses a typical lightweight substrate as supplied by Blackdown and uses wildflower seed from ‘Germinal’ Two seed mixes were chosen as they are noted as being ‘mixtures for pollinators’. THE Stockwell Street roofs have bee hives.
Four , 1.5×1.5×0.6 metre beds were prepared on 10/6/2015 and seeded on 11/6/2015. Fine mist watering occurred at 08:00.
The arrangement is as follows:
Box 1 (1.5×1.5m)
The bed was divided into 2 halves each of approximately 1m2. The southern half – Biuochar was added at 20% (30litres was dug into the 1st 200mm of existing substrate. The northern half biochar was added at 5% (7.5litres was dug in.)
The box was then planted in halves again with the western side planted with WF19 and on the eastern side WFG18.
Box 2 (1.5×1.5m)
The full bed was filled with 10% biochar across the bed dug into a depth of 200mm (30 litres dug in). The box was then planted in halves again with the western side planted with WF19 and on the eastern side WFG18.
Box 3 (1.5×1.5m)
The control box – no biochar applied. The box was then planted in halves again with the western side planted with WF19 and on the eastern side WFG18.
Photo 1: Illustrating 20%, 5% in 1st box, 10% in 2nd box and 0% in 3rd Box
Photo 2: Biochar dug into top 200mm of planting box.
Watering continues by hose every day since 10 June 2015-06-16
17 June; A few seeds germinating
18 June: Germination slightly more evident