The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has raised concerns in environmental conservation.
One of the solutions that has been proposed is capturing carbon from the atmosphere. Sometimes the terminologies seem complex. But this is an activity that can also be done at home.
Every gardener has the potential to mitigate climate change by capturing carbon at home. This is done by storing carbon in the soil. However, it requires some level of expertise. There are specific procedures that must be followed.
How to add carbon to my garden soil
Adding carbon to the garden soil is the best approach to capturing carbon. It can be done by supporting the natural processes. A gardener can undertake three main activities to achieve this goal.
- Growing different trees in a home garden
One of the most efficient ways of capturing carbon is through planting trees. Trees are considered among the best at capturing carbon from the atmosphere.
It is good to have different types of trees in a garden. They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the atmosphere.
The trees are also known to live longer. This means they can help with capturing carbon for years. However, it is good to identify the best trees that can make it more efficient in capturing carbon.
Among the tree varieties that do well with carbon capture include:
- Yellow Poplar
- Silver Maple
- Horse Chestnut
- Red Mulberry
It is also good to be selective about the different characteristics of trees that contribute more to capturing carbon. It is good to select the following characteristics of trees.
- Fast growing trees
- Long-lived trees
- Large leaves
- Native species
- Low-maintenance trees
Going for trees that mature quickly and can live longer is important. This makes it easier to start capturing carbon quickly and storing it for many years in the soil.
Having native trees also ensures they do well in their growth and thus facilitates efficient carbon capture.
- Composting green waste
By using dead grass and plant leaves, you contribute towards reducing methane emissions. These are emissions that could come from landfills.
Soil carbon sequestration
Soil carbon sequestration is a process by which gardeners can manage land to enhance carbon absorption in the soil. There are a few tips that a gardener can follow to enhance carbon sequestration.
- Reducing soil disturbance
It is considered a good way to reduce the tilling of land in a garden. This reduces the exposure of the garden soil. It reduces the rate of carbon released into the atmosphere. The carbon is retained in the soil for longer.
- Changing planting rotations
It is also recommended to rotate the planting schedules in a garden. The gardener should also consider planting cover crops when the land is bare. Leaving the field fallow can increase the carbon emission rate in the atmosphere.
- Applying compost to the garden
Plants to grow in my garden to sequester carbon.
Good carbon-retaining practice includes the use of specific plants in a garden. These are plants that can cover the garden soil and prevent the release of carbon.
Common plants that work well include legumes, cereal grains, and grasses. The following plants and trees are linked to efficient carbon sequestration.
One of the plants that have been valued as carbon sequester is bamboo. This plant has impressive potential to capture carbon. It has of late received attention from many environmentalists.
A giant, woody bamboo tree can store 100 to 400 tons of carbon. This is a capacity similar to a whole tree plantation. It can also keep carbon for a long period compared to other trees.
Hedgerows and shrubs have also been listed among the plants with a great capacity for capturing carbon from the atmosphere. This means that when land is covered with shrubs, it captures more carbon.
The good thing about shrubs and hedges is that they can be made permanent in a garden. They can be used as fences for many years. This means that the garden can hold more amount of carbon for longer.
It is important to care for the hedges to make them longer and wider. This will increase their capacity for carbon sequestration.
- Perennial Plants
An expert opinion is that perennial plants are the best at capturing carbon. They are also the best for storing carbon for longer. The perennial plants are known to have deep roots. The roots release the captured carbon deep down the soil.
The deep roots remain in the soil for many years. They are, therefore, good for the management of carbon sequestration. The carbon is easily locked up in the soil for longer.
- Annual Crops
There is also the option of using annual crops for carbon sequestration. These plants have lower root biomass. They have high amounts of carbon in the shoots. However, these plants are better than the perennials in carbon sequestration.
Do potted plants sequester carbon?
Experts have revealed that potted plants that are mostly indoors are also good at carbon sequestration. One potted plant can filter up to 1.3 kilograms of carbon dioxide per year. This is not a large amount, but it still has a significant capture from the atmosphere.
It indicates that indoor plants play a role in the overall efforts to reduce atmospheric gas emissions.
What house plant absorbs the most carbon?
Experts have reported that all indoor plants are good as carbon sequesters. But some plants do better in carbon sequestration.
The prayer plant is among the best plants that do well in capturing carbon. They work well in air purification than other indoor plants.
Does manure add carbon to the soil?
There are also concerns among gardens as to the role of manure in carbon sequestration. Experts have advised that manure made from organic matter stores more carbon in the soil. It helps to reduce the amount of carbon released from the soil.
Type of composts that have high carbon
It is good not to note that not all composts make the best carbon sequesters. Compost made from brown or woody materials is the best. These organic materials in garden manure have a high concentration of carbon that is added to the soil.
Avoiding green materials with higher amounts of nitrogen than carbon is also important. This reduces the overall amount of carbon added to the soil.
A reflection of everything in this article is critical. There are concerns about the current level of carbon in the atmosphere. It has been recommended that finding alternatives for reducing carbon is critical.
Among the proposed solutions is carbon sequestration. This is the process of using plants and trees to capture and retain carbon in the soil. It is an easy approach that gardens can adopt in playing their role in environmental conservation.