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Biochar is an ancient technique that’s now all the rage among growers both large and small. A charcoal made by slow-heating dead plants, “Biochar does not bring fertilizer or water to plants, but its highly porous nature tends to increase soil resilience to water and nutrient stresses, improving overall plant nutrition,� explains Caroline Masiello, PhD, a soil chemistry researcher at Rice University in Houston. You can buy bags of biochar alone or mixed with compost; whichever you choose, check that the supplier is a member of the International Biochar Initiative, which sets quality and environmental standards.

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