Like something out of a science fiction movie SF60 so exciting and interesting. SF60 is a new product from Soilfixer which boasts to improve your soil to the best it can possibly be.
Made from a few elements, the main ingredient Biochar is proven in the growing world to have huge benefits to your soil including its ability to hold onto nutrients, water and nutrients.
Rather than a feed, SF60 is a soil improver formula that exploits these abilities and brings them in an easy application package to provide you with all of the benefits Biochar can give.
Taken as an extract of Soil Fixer website, SF60 offers some of the following benefits
- It keeps hold of water for a long time – excellent water retention
- It re-absorbs water very quickly after drying – excellent re-wetting ability
- Macro nutrient (NKP) supply – has both fast and slow release nutrients
- Micro nutrients (Ca, Mg, etc) – contains micros nutrients in plant available forms
- Improved nutrient supply to roots – builds and supports bacterial/fungal roots associations that increase nutrient supply to roots (eg mycorrhizal fungi, AMF)
- Reduces nutrient leaching – colloidal humus has high CEC reducing leachate losses on irrigation
- Improves soil aggregation leading to improved tilth and aeration (essential oxygen flow to roots and microbes).
- Results are long lasting – colloidal humus and biochar typically survive in soil for over 100 years (note nutrients transferred and removed via crop need replenishing)
- Positive environmental impact: colloidal humus and biochar both sequest carbon and help offset carbon dioxide and hence reduce impact of green-house gases
So What Exactly is Biochar?
The official terminology is – charcoal produced from plant matter and stored in the soil as a means of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
With that in mind it is possible that you can also make your own biochar. The quality & the way in which it’s prepared can vary massively between companies and individuals. This allows every recipe to be unique.
SoilFixer have used one type of biochar & their own powders along with their unique hot composting process to create SF60.
The initial impression is really quite good.
As you can see from the above image the Biochar is very consistent in size and seems to be of good quality.
How Do I prepare it for use?
You don’t. SF60 is ready to use out of the box.
Is it a feed?
No. Although it does contain compost, trace minerals and elements, these are in slow release forms. This product has been designed as a long term amendment rather than a feed.
How much do I need to use?
Inserted into the planting hole, Target 10% by volume (10 parts soil to 1 part SF60)
Best results 20% (5:1), minimum suggested application 5% (20:1)
The biochar and colloidal humus in the SF60 product remains in soil year after year. You can top-up and build towards 20% target by adding a bit more each year.
So with this in mind SoilFixer has asked me to trial this product along with the compost humidifier to see in a real world application how SF60 can improve your crops.
Back in October I was provided with SoilFixers compost humification agent and given the challenge of creating my own supercharged compost. You can read a full review HERE
I was then asked to trial growing the same plant in 4 different mixes to highlight any effect the products may have.
The sequence is as follows:
1 Control Soil (Garden Soil)
2 Normal Compost + Control Soil
3 Control Soil + Improved Compost
4 Control Soil plus #SF60
So the containers I will be using for this test will be 30 litres and all situated next to each other in the same area of the garden.
The area chosen receives 10 hours of sunlight throughout the day. Watering will be the same amount once per week.
The plant in question is Pumpkin Small Sugar provided by Seedparade.
This wasn’t initially first choice for me but I had the opportunity to do two things. Test my own compost and also grow something I have never have before but always wanted to try.
What are my expectations/ Goals?
For me being Organic & sustainable I am always looking for ways I can increase the effectiveness of what I do along with minimal impact on my surrounding environment.
My main goal this year is to see if Biochar really does have a positive effect on both the growth and taste of my crops.
Let’s be honest, as well as a good hobby the real reason we grow our own is for the taste.
I am also very interested in seeing what effect if any, that the compost provides after a full season of growing. Will it still be rich? Will it still perform?
Follow my journey on Plot44Organics for all up to date live results and progress.
If you are interested in giving these products a go for your own needs you can buy it from HERE or if you have any further questions the FAQ can be found https://www.soilfixer.co.uk/Super-soil-improver-SF60-Detailed-FAQ