Testing Effects of a Biochar Blend on Container-grown Albion Strawberries

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Melanie Handley (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site: http://www.uncp.edu/academics/library
Maria Pereira

Abstract: Biochar as a soil amendment seems, in a majority of studies, to affect the physical and chemical properties of container substrates (Elad et al. 2012). These properties include bulk density, total porosity, container capacity, nutrient availability, pH, electrical conductivity and cation exchange capacity (Huang and Gu 2019). Biochar has also been shown to affect soil microbiota (Huang and Gu 2019). Several studies have also conveyed the ability of biochar to trigger defense-related genes in plants, which aid the plants in disease suppression (Elad et al. 2012). Because of the potential benefits of biochar in agriculture and nurseries, this study was aimed at analyzing any effects of a biochar blend on the growth and flowering of container-grown strawberries. This study was divided into two separate experiments, both using everbearing bare root Albion strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa “Albion”). The first experiment tested the effects of varying percentages of a biochar blend on container-grown Albion strawberries in greenhouse conditions. The second experiment also tested the effects of the biochar blend on container-grown Albion strawberry plants- but in field conditions. Results so far imply that the plants treated with lower percentages of biochar had more vegetative growth, but less flowering overall. This could be because of excess moisture, an overload of nutrients, and/or pathogens from the biochar blend suppressing plant growth.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Esther G. Maynor Honors College
Language: English
Date: 2020
Biochar, Soil, Soil Microbiota, Strawberries, Albion, Disease Suppression, Plants,

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