NGIA Nursery Paper November 2011

The Effect of Biochar Amended Growing Media on Plant Nutrition and Growth

Over the past few years, there has been growing interest in using biochar as soil amendments to improve and maintain soil fertility and to increase soil carbon sequestration. Unfortunately, most of this research has failed to investigate whether biochar behaves similarly when incorporated in growing media. In this Nursery Paper NGIA Environmental & Technical Policy Manager, Dr Anthony Kachenko summarises preliminary research undertaken by Nursery and Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) to assess the effect of biochar amended growing media on plant nutrition and growth. This research was made possible by direct funding from NGIA through the Nursery Industry Research & Development Levy. The research was undertaken at The University of Sydney by Carly Housley as part of her Honours degree in Agricultural Science. Her research was supervised by Associate Professor Balwant Singh and Dr Anthony Kachenko.