Gardening in a changing climate at RHS Hampton Court 2016

We are busy working on our innovative environmental Near Future Garden for RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2016.

One of the key aims from the beginning has been to limit our environmental foot-print. We want to encourage visitors to follow our lead and think about how they can do the same in their own gardens.

So, as part of our carbon offset we will be using 100% Enriched Biochar from Carbon Gold in our soil.

What is Biochar?

Biochar is a carbon rich form of charcoal, specifically designed as an application to soil offering long-term benefits, whilst improving plant health. Because of its moisture retaining qualities, Biochar is a very stable substance that is not broken down in soils.

Often called ‘the oldest new thing you’ve never heard of”, enriched Biochar originates from ancient Amazonian civilisations who made a primitive type of biochar and added it to their land to grow food in inhospitable soils. The result was a rich and fertile black earth – or ‘terra preta’ – with a high carbon content, which is still evident today.

Why use Biochar?

Over the past few years, gardeners have been dealing with the effects of extreme weather on a daily basis. Increasingly wetter gardens often caused by floods in the winter followed by longer periods of drought over longer, hotter summers are presenting new challenges. This in turn effects the quality of the plants and flowers we can grow and, most importantly, the long term content of our soils. 

Unique biological structure of Carbon Gold Enriched Biochar

Carbon Gold's Enriched Biochar has a unique biological structure that enables it to speed up plant establishment and root growth, by increasing nutrient uptake, whilst also retaining moisture and expanding microbial populations. Enriched Biochar is proven to increase the health and resilience of trees, shrubs, flowers, fruit and veg. All this results in increased vitality and reduced loss of our beloved plants.

Managing Future Carbon 

Another key reason that Near Future Garden has chosen Enriched Biochar is that it is a simple form of carbon sequestration. It is made from any waste woody biomass that has been charred at a low temperature with a restricted supply of oxygen, a process called pyrolysis. This process results in a stable form of carbon that is removed from the atmospheric carbon cycle when added as a soil amendment.

As a highly porous, high carbon form of charcoal, Biochar not only improves soil structure, enhances soil fertility and boosts soil health but most importantly assists with locking away atmospheric carbon dioxide for hundreds of years.

Carbon Gold estimate that if we increase by 4% (0.4%) a year the quantity of carbon in soils, we can halt the annual increase in C02 in the atmosphere, which is a major contributor to the greenhouse effect and climate change.

Steps in the Right Direction

Taking small steps like using carbon Enriched Biochar can help your garden become more resilient and limit your carbon foot-print as the climate shifts even further and gardeners start to "feel the heat."

The Carbon Gold Enriched Biochar range contains mycorrhizal fungi, seaweed and wormcasts to increase trace minerals, and good bacteria to maximise nutrient uptake. It includes Soil Association approved GroChar composts, fertiliser and soil improver and scientifically endorsed tree care products.

These unique products have received endorsements from many well known garden designers who share their growing experiences of Enriched Biochar.

Stay Connected with Near Future Garden

Follow our blogs over the next few months about how Enriched Biochar is enhancing the impact of Near Future Garden on the horticultural community.

You can also read about our climate positive journey creating Near Future Garden on twitter, facebook and instagram.

Near Future Garden