Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Growing season 2021 updates and challenges

 The growing season 2021 has once again proved to be special, also for our research group. Our long-term biochar field experiments in Helsinki were fertilised quite late this year as the sowing equipment was busy in HYKERRYS recycling fertiliser fields (wheat, barley and faba bean) and also other field experiments due to heavy rains in May. For instance, in the Helsinki-Vantaa airfield meteorological station, the May 2021 had the all-time highest precipitation, 92 mm, more than double that of long-term average! Many fields in Finland were too wet for sowing until only mid-June, so record late sowing of spring cereals was not only our case :)

 In Viikki experiments we thus had to use the narrow time window sowing equipment was available, that meant also working in the moonshine at midnight. Few weeks later we already harvested first yield of grasses.

In June we also visited our urban carbon fixing biochar park #HiiliPuisto in Jätkäsaari Helsinki, measured all the trees growing in different compost-biochar mixtures (also the ones that were replaced this spring) and also took the samples for water retention characteristics of different growing media from topsoil and also subsoil. The trees are thriving nicely and so do the flower meadows! Currently we're measuring in the laboratory, how much plant-available water can these growing medias hold.


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