natural aeration options

Discussion in 'Organics' started by GoRealUhGro, Mar 4, 2018.

  1.  
    GoRealUhGro

    GoRealUhGro Well-Known Member

    So iv realized in my past couple grows how big of a factor aeration is... I think i will honestly add more than 33% to my soil mix but not much more... I have always used perlite and i know i need to switch to something better... I also use and plan on using rotted wood chunks..charged.... Which also help w water retention... I want to try for my first time to make and use biochar... I have used wood ash and chunks of wood which hadnt burnt completely ..which i guess is biochar.. I assume.. In my pile but not in my mix... Im just wondeing if anyone else has anything they use that i can gather or make... I love the wood chunks.. They are simply awesome imo... Iv been racking my brain trying to think about this.. If anyone has any idea or a link to a thread about something like this please post it up... Also im wondeing for the people who use biochar what is the best way to charge it and with what.. Maybe multiple diff amendments??..a good soil link or just some input on biochar in general would be great... Iv seen some people say to nkt charge and other say to charge... I assume unchanged would kinda soak up your nutes, correct?... I know they will still be there but i see problems with that... I wanted to watch some videos but i cant watch anything for awhile because of internet so if links are posted try not to post vids.. Ty
     
  2.  
    GoRealUhGro

    GoRealUhGro Well-Known Member

    And i guess natural wouldn't be the best headline for the thread cause most everything ppl use are natural.. Like volcanic rock and hulls... But im more or less talking about things i can make or gather
     
  3.  
    GoRealUhGro

    GoRealUhGro Well-Known Member

    I found something but i haven't found any info to weather it works well or messes with anything in the soil.. I do nt see why but its hatd to te.. Corn cobs... Has anyone tried them or have any info on using them
     
  4.  
    DonTesla

    DonTesla Well-Known Member

    Rotting wood is awesome shit, I just screened a bunch and can't wait to get more. How about you, what size of chunks you prefer?

    Leaf mould / leaf compost is another.
    Biochar is a really smart idea.
    Check out the thread Dons Dirt for some ideas there.
    Pumice would be a great upgrade from perlite too.
    Sand is free, as well, although damn heavy.
     
    GoRealUhGro likes this.
  5.  
    GoRealUhGro

    GoRealUhGro Well-Known Member

    I usually use chunks ranging from anywhere to the size of a quarter to a half dollar for the majority.. Then i get some about twice the size of the bigger ones to mix in... What are your sizes.. You say u screen them?...i thought about sand but didnt think it would work anywhere as well.... Ill check out your thread and see what i can find
     
  6.  
    Wetdog

    Wetdog Well-Known Member

    Aeration, to be effective, should be about the size of a pea or a bit smaller. Big chunks of anything actually contain less surface area than smaller pieces and just don't work well. You could do a SxS with regular, horticultural grade perlite vs the "chunky" perlite and see this for yourself.

    For the majority of your aeration you really want something inert like perlite or graded pumice that's not going to break down over time as the 'natural' ones will. I use pine bark fines in my mixes. They start out as aeration, but break down over time and become humus and this has to be accounted for on reamends.

    Rice hulls are even worse because they break down so rapidly (within months), but carbonized rich hulls are excellent as both biochar and aeration since they don't degrade. They are also an excellent size for aeration. Also, super easy to carbonize if you have a BBQ grill, or, even in an oven.

    When *I* make fresh mixes, I'll start with 40% perlite, but end up with close to 50% aeration with the addition of the bark fines. Usually, more aeration is added with reamends a year or 2 later, but this depends on what the mix visually looks like at that time.

    Wet
     
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  7.  
    GoRealUhGro

    GoRealUhGro Well-Known Member

    So the wood chunks im using are too large iyo.. I got the sizes from grease.. Well except the biggest ones which i add few of... I usually awlays have perlite in addition to the wood.. But i kinda thought the quarter to 50 cent sized would be ok... My roots grow into them and i thought that would have to be a good thing..does anyone see anything wrong with using all wood chunks and or biochar for my aeration ... I know i would have to add more chunks each year and i dont mind that... I actually thought it would benefit the soil to have rotted wood breaking down in the soil... And wet.. Say i go with biochar... Ok i habe burnt the wood and cleaned off the ash...can i make a tea and let it soak to charge it... I did watch a video but i was babysitting atm so i didn't get to watch it all.. But from what i gathered the guy said the only proper way to charge would be in a compost pile.. I think.... Could i toss it in my pile for a few weeks then sift it out.. Or would i need to leave it in the pile and do the thermo process to "properly" charge it
     
  8.  
    Wetdog

    Wetdog Well-Known Member

    Man, I thought you were talking about biochar/charcoal. Rotted wood chunks is a different story and I use those also. Check out hugelkulture for a search term, especially for gardens. As soon as I read 'roots grow into them' it clicked that you weren't talking about charcoal.

    From what I've read, biochar should be no more than 10% of the mix. I've used biochar for years, but it was never close to 10% anyway so IDK. I'd just dump the shake from the lump charcoal I use in my smoker. Probably well under 5%, I never measured. I've never charged it and never really noticed any N depletion or anything. Not like using fresh wood chips. That will suck N out of the soil while breaking down. Biochar is pretty inert being pretty much pure carbon and rotted wood is already done breaking down..

    Sorry for the confusion.

    Wet
     
    GoRealUhGro likes this.
  9.  
    GoRealUhGro

    GoRealUhGro Well-Known Member

    No problem buddy... I was talking about using biochar though lol so....but not like i think u thought i meant. But i should also add that i use the bigger chunks of wood for water retention as well as aeration ...good shit
     

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