Horticultural Substrates Containing Biochar: Performance and Economy


Authors: Suzanne Allaire & Sébastien Lange

The Experiments

Greenhouse Experiment

This experiment consisted of using potting soil and replacing up to 100% of the perlite and/or up to 50% of the peat found in the potting soil. Ornamental species were used and grown in greenhouses.

Nursery Experiment

The ornamental plants were trimmed and repotted to start the experiment. Different types of biochar were used to replace perlite and/or peat. These were grown outdoors.

Economic Analysis

The analysis is based on the price of potting soil. The replacement of perlite and peat is evaluated separately. The savings created by substituting peat and/or perlite with biochar is substantial, with millions of dollars in play for the Quebec horticultural industry. This amount increases when taking into account the savings incurred from fees charged from landfills to bury residual organic matter.