Your Soil Craves Humus ... Yum!
Agronomists agree that the most important part of your soil is organic material, which should make up about 5% of your soil. Your soil likely contains less than 2%, especially if you have clay or sandy soil. You can tell if your soil naturally has plenty of organic material by its texture and color. Humic substances are dark brown. Good loam soil has this color but clay and sandy soils don’t.
Improve soil fertility and plant nutrition
Humates, which include humic acid, fulvic acid, and humins, are basically decomposed organic material (plants and animals) that work together to make sure plants get the water, air, and nutrients they need. The primary differences among the three humates is their molecular size and reaction with water and minerals.
Why are humates so important?
The beneficial synergies include:
- Increased water and nutrient retention and plant uptake, especially in sandy soil (high CEC—cation exchange capacity)
- Increased absorption in clay (aggregate soil structure)
- Increased beneficial microorganisms (biostimulant)
How about other organic material?
Common compost is great for adding nutrients naturally and it does contain or will create a small amount of humic acid over time, but it will not offer the same benefits, especially the CEC (cation exchange capacity) that makes nutrients more available to the plant roots.
Are all humates created equal?
Actually, all humates are different, but the keys to look for are a higher percentage of humic substances and the combination of humic, fulvic, and humins for the synergies the three offer together. You can choose humates in liquid, pellet, and powder form depending on your preference for ease of use.
We’ve found The Andersons HumicDG Organic Pellets (HOP) to be the best for humate content and use. Just spread the small pellets evenly around the yard and water in with a sprinkler cycle.
As part of your yard care program, exiGrow and HOP will help create the more porous, absorbent, fertile, pH-optimized soil your lawn needs to be healthy and green.
For all you nerds, you can read more specific information about humates: