Types of Fertilizer - Humic Acid as an Addition
by Paul Woods
The end result of the composting of ancient plant and animal matter. These complex organic molecules are considered by many to be very beneficial.
Humic acid (humus), known by farmers and gardeners for years, is necessary for consistent plant health and soil quality. Humus is really quite a complex mixture of organic substances formed from the decomposition of plant and animal parts by microorganisms, under aerobic (oxygen present) and anaerobic (no oxygen) conditions, in non-desert soils.
This acid, a major component of humus, is commercially separated and is used as a soil conditioner. The acid improves a plants ability to absorb certain minerals by increasing the number and permeability of root systems. Additionally, this acid promotes bacterial growth allowing these bacteria to chelate (carry) nutrients easily through the root system.
Adding this acid:
1. Makes soil friable - breaks up hard pan
2. Increases water retention and reduces soil erosion
3. Speeds up organic material decomposition
4. Allows air to enter soil deeply
5. Increases number of chelating microbes which chelate (carry) beneficial nutrients to plants and chelates toxins to other microbes for breakdown to harmless substances
6. Improves overall plant and soil health increasing yields
7. Decreases fertilizer applications