Questions & answers


Why lignite in particular?

To answer briefly – because it is the best source of organic matter known to mankind, rich in macro- and microelements, humic and fulvic acids, humins, active carbon, organic carbon as well as leonardites, which finds numerous applications in all kinds of cultivation. The answer can also be sought in history – after all at the beginning of the previous century (and even earlier) lignite was commonly used by Polish farmers for natural fertilization of soil. Extensive literature is available on that subject. Another example derives from Amazon Indians whose terra preta was and still is one of the most fertile soils on the planet. The key component of those soils was precisely the active carbon which improved soil fertility and prevented washing nutritious substances out of the soil. Therefore, we can claim that lignite is the oldest novelty that we would like to present once more to Polish farmers and gardeners. Considering the fact that in Poland soil is generally in a pitiful condition, we came to the conclusion that lignite ideally addresses this problem and, what is more, it does so in a totally natural manner.

What properties does lignite have?

Lignite has a whole range of advantageous properties for plants, for the environment or for human health. For more details see product bookmarks for CARBOMAT and CARBOHUMIC in which we address the issue broadly.

Where do you source your lignite from?

We can say that it is Polish lignite from a mine which best suits our requirements. We have checked all active brown coal mines in Poland and only one had raw material which was particularly outstanding for plant growth applications.

What is the pH of your substrate?

Natural pH of lignite from our source is within 4-4.5, nevertheless we are ready to prepare a substrate for individual parameters (including pH, water and air conditions etc.) required by a target plant.

What is the significance of fractions? Can I order a particular fraction?

In our factory we create 4 types of fraction which are then composed to address a particular plant; our main aim is to create the best possible water and air conditions. Of course, you can order a particular fraction, let’s say a larger one, which then can be used e.g. for mulching, or against liverworts at plant nurseries or as a substitute of vermiculite to cover seeds during production etc.

Who do you particularly address your substrate to?

Generally, we do not have any restrictions. Our offer is addressed both to professional greenhouse producers, fruit farmers, crop farmers, plant nursery producers as well as to amateurs / hobbyists etc. In other words – to everyone who is looking for a natural and exceptional growing substrate.

How long can I use the substrate?

In order to answer this question we have to differentiate cultivation into two categories i.e. directly on mats (greenhouses, channels in polytunnels) and in soil. Mats easily allow cultivation for at least 3 years (it is worth emphasizing here that one of our customers has been growing cucumbers successfully for the 8th season on end). For soil applications, the matter looks altogether different. Here lignite becomes a part of the soil, so we count the period in which lignite fractions decompose naturally. According to literature, this period is at least 25 years – to this point were the longest available studies conducted, and the lignite was still present.

What can I grow on the substrate?

Basically everything. Right now we use our substrate to cultivate numerous species of vegetables, fruit, herbs, ornamental plants, trees and even exotic plants such as date palm, paulownia or argan tree. Furthermore, we keep expanding our experience in cultivation of new plant species.

What should I keep in mind when using lignite as a substrate?

Considering the fact that we apply our substrate for various cultivations, it would take a bulky volume to discuss all related aspects broken down by individual species. However, there is one thing pertaining to all cultures, namely that lignite substrate requires preliminary soaking. It is a crucially significant factor. In the first phase the lignite granules must absorb maximum volume of water and this is something that MUST be remembered. To get further assistance related to your cultivations, please feel free to contact us. We can assure you of our help and appropriate tips.

Does your lignite contain heavy metals?

People often raise doubts that brown coal contains too much of heavy metals. This is both true and untrue at the same time. The key question is what kind of lignite it is. Actually, the deeper we go underground (we have the following stratification layers: peat -> lignite -> brown coal -> hard coal -> anthracite) the harder the material becomes and the higher concentration of heavy metals it has. That is why we source our raw material from the deposits of the so called soft brown coal (lignite) in the shallow coal seam, which meets all the restrictions related to plant cultivation.

Can I mix your substrate with local soil or other substrate?

Of course you can. Lignite will definitely enrich the local soil or other substrate with all the nutrients it contains. You must remember, however, that when preparing and mixing lignite fractions we create optimum water and air conditions for cultivation of particular plants, so any additional interference of other components may disturb that balance. If you are considering general enrichment of your soil with nutrients, then CARBOHUMIC will definitely provide a better answer. Why is that so? Please refer to the reply to “Then why shouldn’t we spill lignite rather than apply it in liquid form?” within the CARBOHUMIC FAQ section.

In what sort of packaging do you deliver your product?

Our product is delivered in a 19 litre packaging (bag or cultivation mat), big-bag 1000 m3, big bag 1500 m3.

What are the main differences in comparison to other substrates available on the market?

Since application of lignite practically pertains to all possible cultivations i.e. from greenhouse growing through berry crops to horticultural crops, we invite you to contact us directly. We will explain everything, also the differences concerning other substrates.

Is brown coal mining environmentally friendly? After all, the European Union intends to close coal mines.

As a company we want to change the detrimental paradigm concerning the use of lignite both in our country and elsewhere and to show that coal not only means burning and CO2 emissions to the atmosphere and thus accelerating global climate warming (and what is worse, the loss of precious nutrients!), but something to the contrary – its sequestration, not only through cultivation which is usually associated with absorption of a greenhouse gas, but chiefly through supplying the soil with Carbon element which binds and deactivates greenhouse gases released from soil. In a global perspective, soil contains twice more carbon than Earth’s atmosphere (1500 bln tons and 700 bln tons, respectively), so no wonder that humus arouses interest of environmentalists as an important medium of CO2 sequestration. By voluminous planting on lignite we contribute to the reduction of global CO2 emission. We think it should be considered whether it wouldn’t be crucially important to use the potential of lignite in the times of drastic deterioration of soil quality and in the view of the fact that we do not have many types of fertile soils in Poland. One can hardly imagine a country which, despite having such extensive resources of “black gold” (one of the largest in the world), fails to exploit them to the full. In the context of our business we might even claim that we return to nature more than we borrow, only at a later date. To make the matter simple, we can view what we are doing as some sort of redistribution of “fertility” from places abundant in it to the regions poor in it, which is aimed at restoring soils degraded by humans and remediation thereof.

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