My sister was excited to eat her potatoes so she dug them all up. Yikes. Only a single baby potato appeared. If you have potatoes in pots or in the ground and you are wondering if they are ready to dig up feel the top of the soil first with your hands. If you can feel a potato, pull it out.
That’s the real sort of clincher is that bio char, made properly, attracts and houses and protects and provides a dwelling place for the microbes. These work synergistically with plants. So you have all three of those things happening at the same time, and now you’ve got a material that goes into the soil and works positively with plants.
So the simple answer is yes. You can make your own biochar. The more complicated question is HOW will you do it without harming the environment? Make sure to research this topic fully before digging in and doing more harm than good to the soil and environment you are trying to rescue. Making your own biochar is a case of literally jumping from the pan into the fire if it is not done correctly.
Biochar is a friend of the garden and a positive addition to soil. It’s there when you aren’t even thinking about it and it helps you get the best veggie garden ever. Permanently. Among various types of Biochar the professionally produced Airterra Soilmatrix Biochar has been approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency because of it’s consistent and reliable characteristics. If you want to try Biochar, why not try the approved brand? Now available on Vancouver Island.
Potatoes are cheap to buy so why make room to grow them at all? Because they are so heavily sprayed in commercial production and the difference in flavour and texture between home grown and store bought is just incredible. So even if the only space you have is under a tree or on a patio, consider growing your own potatoes next year. I am surprised by the results of my potato experiments in 2019. This is not what I expected at all. I have been growing potatoes in bags, pots and the ground for years. Over time I discovered I grow better potatoes in grow bags than I do in the soil so this year I wanted to compare various additions to the grow bags so I can save money and grow better food faster. Ordinary crops grown in extraordinary ways!
Timing/Planning: remember some plants are cool season crops (radish, spinach, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, peas and everything in cabbage family) while other are warm season (Tomatoes, corn, potatoes, cucumber, squash, beans). Cool season crops can start going into the ground shortly both as direct seed and as transplants. I often start peas by early April and Spinach in the fall so it can come back as early as March. Transplant your peas but start others directly in the cold soil. See what works best in your microclimate.