Does Rock Dust and Biochar Increase Tomato and Kale production?

The last 6 weeks have seen some changes in the trial beds. The kale suffered some sever damage shortly after the last update being almost completely eaten by some sort of rodent. The final numbers are as follows

Rock Dust 225.0 g

Control 277.5 g

Biochar 222.5g

The tomatoes really took off taking over much of the beds and spilling out over the other areas in the garden. Once again disaster stuck when a sever storm came through and damaged all of the plants. The final harvest tallies ended up being

Rock Dust 4136.0g

Control 5548.5g

Biochar 5124.5g

We completed a taste test finding the results to be consistent both times. I found the Control the best with biochar second and the Rock Dust third. I do have to admit the variety of tomato chosen this year was not one I particularly enjoyed as it was quite tangy and not sweet like I enjoy.

This means the control in both Kale and Tomatoes has produced more in weight. The rock dust slightly edges out the Biochar in the kale however prior to the damage the kale plants in the biochar bed had more remaining leafs.

To date the combined trial results are consistent with One Yard Revolutions current he currently has the following totals

Rock Dust – 8,937 grams
Control – 11,791 grams
Biochar – 9,798 grams

for total combine results of

Rock Dust 13,298 g

Control 17,816 g

Biochar 15,154 g

by following the same trial methods we are able to combine the results to further demonstrate the results. the more points of data we collect allow us to reduce any conditions in individual gardens that may favour one group over another and one species over another. once we have all of the data for 2014 we will combine it all and see where we stand!

The peppers are doing well with the largest plants in the Biochar Control and then Rock dust and signs of ripening fruit showing up in the Biochar and Control beds.

The mangel beats have roughly equal leaf damage and are growing quickly. These will be one of the last things we harvest to see how large they will get.

The carrots are hard to tell as their leafs intermingle and there is no evidence of the size of the root below. Closer to the end of the season we will harvest all of them from each bed. because there is likely uneven numbers in each bed the total number of carrots harvested will be counted and either the average taken or the outliers will be removed from each bed and a standard number of carrots will be used.

If you have any data at all or are still collecting it we would love to have it submitted to us so we can add it to the final numbers.

About Stephen

The Alberta Urban Garden Channel hopes to promote organic gardening that is simple, sustainable and does not have to cost a lot. We do this by investigating the Science behind gardening, methods, practices and products to make sure that you will have the best chance of successfully growing your own food at home.