IJBSAT 2018 Volume 9 Issue 8

International Journal of BioSciences, Agriculture and Technology (IJBSAT) ISSN: 0975 - 4539

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Regan Karki, & Svein Øivind Solberg. (2018). Activated BIOCHAR with VERMICOMPOST as an alternative PEAT substitute. International Journal of Biosciences, Agriculture and Technology (IJBSAT) ISSN: 0975 - 4539, 9(8), 64–70. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2259883


Activated BIOCHAR with VERMICOMPOST as an alternative PEAT substitute

Authors & Affiliation:

Regan Karki, Svein Øivind Solberg

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Applied Ecology, Agriculture Sciences and Biotechnology, P.O. Box 400, 2418 Elverum, NORWAY

regankarki78@gmail.com, sveinsolberg63@gmail.com, svein.solberg@inn.no


Biochar produced from a mixed feedstock of ash, beech and oak under slow pyrolysis process (500-550 °C) was amended with vermicompost in 1: 2 ratio (w/w) to make nutrient enriched vermi-biochar. Experiments were performed to examine if this vermi-biochar could replace peat as a growth medium in greenhouse production of vegetables. Replacement of peat is an environmental goal as peat represent at least partly an unrenewable source which decomposition contributes to greenhouse gases and global warming. Red Cherriette Radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. sativus) was selected as a test plant and was raised in vermi-biochar mixed with peat in volumetric ratios 0:100 (pure peat, control 1), 40:60, 60:40, 70:30, 80:20, and 100: 0 (pure vermi-biochar, control 2). The peat was a commercial fertilizer enriched growth medium commonly used by farmers. Growth parameters such as root and shoot weights and brix percentage were measured. The results showed that vermi-biochar used in a rate of 40-70 %, but also vermi-biochar alone, significantly increase fresh root weight and overall biomass compared to peat soil alone. The study implies that vermi-biochar can replace all the peat used in the greenhouse production of radish and even enhance the yield of the produced biomass.

Keywords: Biochar; organic amendment; vermicompost; growing media; peat