Intensive land use including cultivation may result in soil degradation. Restoring natural conditions or utility values called reclamation usually requires prior improvement of soil properties by using fertilizers or soil amendments. Special attention is paid to biochar, as it can improve soil physical and chemical properties. Therefore, amendment is potentially useful for preparation of degraded soil for future vegetation. In pot experiments, we studied the effect of wheat straw biochar (5% v/w) (soil with biochar (S + BC)), two rates of mineral fertilizer (no fertilizer as a control set (SC) and single initial dose of fertilizer (S + NPK)), and combination of biochar and fertilizer (S + B C + NPK) on sandy soil properties and grass growth. Biochar significantly increased soil pH, total organic carbon content (TOC), and volumetric water content (VWC, +24% after one week of measurements). However, dry mass of grass shoots was lower in S + BC than in SC (−38%). It was also observed that, in fertilizer, applied sets high concentrations of salts caused crust formation, surface cracking, and overdrying. Considering the results, biochar may be useful for increasing sandy substrate fertility, providing proper conditions for revegetation during reclamation.
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