Can I ask a question , you seem like an experienced gardener, what kind of indoor grow lights do you prefer? It apparently doesn’t even exist. Octavia Hopwood talks about what makes up the complex humus molecule! The primary material needed for the process of humification are plant materials. Manure, compost and wood chips are great choices. Humus is created when soil is treated with a pH solution, but it never occurs in soil. Although the dark color is probably due to humus, humus is not a layer in soil. This process is speculated to have been important in the formation of the unusually fertile Amazonian terra preta do Indio. , Organic matter that has reached a point of stability, This article is about the organic matter in soil. What Is Humus Soil? Some soils have an organic horizon (O) on the surface, but this horizon can also be buried. What do suggest is the best compost You can add too much organic matter which will cause all kinds of problems. This is an incorrect use of the term. Anything labeled as “2-3 ml per L of water and a gallons per acre dosage” is snake oil. Most soils have three major horizons: the surface horizon (A), the subsoil (B), and the substratum (C). Unfortunately the label is faded in places but it looks like instructions for garden beds of 2-3 ml per L of water and a gallons per acre dosage? Perhaps the most important reason for having humus is that it is responsible for aggregation. Hello I live in northern new Brunswick i have a wood lot and on that wood lot there is about 3 ac.  Humus allows soil organisms to feed and reproduce, and is often described as the "life-force" of the soil. You have probably heard that humus is an important part of your soil, but few people know what it is and why it is important. Humus can hold the equivalent of 80–90% of its weight in moisture, and therefore increases the soil's capacity to withstand drought. Healthy, fertile soil is a combination of water, air, organic matter, and nutrient minerals. On the other hand, the stuff looks just like what I imagine plants have in mind when they daydream about what they want their roots to growth in. The ratio of carbon to nitrogen (C:N) of humus is 10:1. thanks in advance ak kingston.  A very stable form of humus is formed from the slow oxidation of soil carbon after the incorporation of finely powdered charcoal into the topsoil. Humus is the final form of compost. There is two places I know of in the u.s that mine humus from the earth which is found 20 feet under the soil. Nutrients from compost and manure build up in the soil, reducing the need for artificial fertilizers. I make some mostly full, stalks and stems as big as wanted. Rich humus soil is black. It reduces the eluviation of soluble nutrients from the soil profile. It is loose and friable, allowing plant roots to grow unrestricted. It is also a “sink” to retain moisture. The composition of humus varies dependent on the composition of the primary materials and the secondary microbial and animal products. It is considered the richest soil and is usually described as the ideal soil type. Thank you Robert, for publishing this interesting article – it’s a very enjoyable read! , Microorganisms decompose a large portion of the soil organic matter into inorganic minerals that the roots of plants can absorb as nutrients. Is there any reason to believe that there is much humus as part of these crumbs? Humus is the blood, the life of your garden soil. Explain what humus is, its properties, how does it form and why is it beneficial to soil health? The Differences Between Clay, Sand and Humus. What is Humus? Humus is an organic, non-living matter that exists in the top layers of soil. Adding humus, in the form of compost, to a garden increases its productivity and produces healthier plants. The importance of chemically stable humus is thought by some to be the fertility it provides to soils in both a physical and chemical sense, though some agricultural experts put a greater focus on other features of it, such as its ability to suppress disease. Humus can increase organisms in soil, enriching the soil … The definition of loenardite may be correct, but much of the statements on your reference about the important of humic acid are not. I build closed terrariums. Humus is well-decomposed organic matter that gives topsoil its dark color, improves its nutrient and water-holding capacity, and gives rise to a beneficial crumb-like structure. I guess someone might be able to buy soil from a forest that has been in place for 100 years. In fact, the process of creating humus – called humification – can take hundreds of years. What is important is that most of the useable chemicals in the organic matter are extracted by the micro-organisms and are eventually made available to plants. It is basically compost. As every gardener knows, not all soils are made the same. Never heard that mycorrhiza need humus present to connect with plant roots and I don’t believe it is true. This remaining material is called humus. Humus can hold on to large amounts of water and will soak up moisture in the soil, helping soil rehydrate when it hasn’t rained. Carbon also has a holding property for nutrients – it is used in aquarium filters to remove toxins from the water, and it can be used in home water filters for the same reason. The ratio of carbon to nitrogen (C:N) of humus is 10:1. Ideal soil includes humus and has a granular, crumbly structure. This is not humus.  Most humus that is not protected in this way is decomposed within 10 years and can be regarded as less stable or more labile.  It has no determinate shape, structure, or quality. Plant Communication – Can Plants Talk to Other Plants? But this definition is insufficient as it only reveals the … I am not sure. It can be mixed with soil to create humus soil: a healthier, richer base for your gardening. See more. Although the dark color is probably due to humus, humus is not a layer in soil. Nutrients from compost and manure build up in the soil, reducing the need for artificial fertilizers.  Humus significantly affects the bulk density of soil and contributes to its retention of moisture and nutrients. It is a term that should not be used. For a detailed review of this finding, have a look at Humus Does Not Exist – Says a New Study. I’ve always been told that that is leaf mold and considered the best component to add to your garden as it has no nutrient value to speak of yet improves soil condition and structure…, Also, Wiki illudes to Leaf Mold being “humic”… Humus has many nutrients that improve the health of soil, nitrogen being the most important. Although the terms humus and compost are informally used interchangeably, they are distinct soil components with different origins; humus is created through anaerobic fermentation, while compost is the result of aerobic decomposition. Researchers in the 1940s and 1960s tried using chemical separation to analyze plant and humic compounds in forest soil, but this proved impossible.  It is also used to describe a topsoil horizon that contains organic matter (humus type, humus form, humus profile). Adding crushed charcoal to soil may help a bit to hold nutrients, but I doubt that it would have the same soil conditioning affect as humus. Every gardener’s primary concern should be to make year-by-year improvements to their soil. If you look in Wiki under Leaf Mold, you will see the term ‘humic’ matter highlighted. I use tropicals to zone 5 like ivys, ferns… And also Orchids! Humus is a complex organic substance resulting from the breakdown of plant material in a process called humification. Do I want humus in the soil? and 3 ft deep of hums(leaf mold ) i was wondering what that would worth road side if i mixed with lime and bag it, or is any value ? Nitrogen is a key nutrient for most plants. As far as I know you can’t buy humus. However, when examined under a microscope, humus may reveal tiny plant, animal, or microbial remains that have been mechanically, but not chemically, degraded. Do you have a source for cheap grow lights? No idea. Sometimes you don’t necessarily want the plants to grow. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaf_mold. Agriculture depends on nitrogen and other nutrients found in humus. humus synonyms, humus pronunciation, humus translation, English dictionary definition of humus. It is interesting to learn that humus is basically some form of carbon. Humus is left after organic matter decomposes. Raw organic matter, as a reserve of nitrogen and phosphorus, is a vital component affecting soil fertility. Humus formation takes place over a much longer period than standard compost. n. ... From the Portuguese "black earth," terra preta refers to a rich soil composed of humus (decomposed organic substances) and biochar (carbon derived from charcoal). I have not really answered the question–can you have too much humus? Secondly, it would be better for the garden to use compost or your leaf mold that you are making. Eggshells - Do They Decompose In The Garden? These relationships can be developed in straight peat moss – which does not contain humus. Here is some of them: The term is also (incorrectly) used to describe the resulting material after fungi digest the leaves. Humus refers to the decomposed vegetation that makes up about 10 percent of most garden soil. So to recap the whole compost vs. humus debacle, while humus can be created through the composting process (albeit very, very slowly), compost is not humus until it is decomposed down to dark organic material that can no longer be broken down. In fact humus does not even exist – see a newer post; Does Humus Exist? Which soil contain minimum humus rate? Eggshells - How Not to Use Them in the Garden, Ontario Rock Garden and Hardy Plant Society. It helps the soil retain moisture by increasing microporosity, and encourages the formation of good soil structure. The former might be useful in the garden. Humus has a negative charge which means that many of the nutrients plants require stick to humus, including ammonium (source of nitrogen), calcium, magnesium and phosphorous to name a few. It turns out that humus may be the most important thing in soil: more important that dew worms, and organic matter, but it gets so little attention. No. Learn about it. More precisely, humus is the dark organic matter that forms in soil when dead plant and animal matter (including aerobic compost) breaks down further, specifically through the action of anaerobic organisms. The decomposition process happened in the top of soil by most aerobic and a little of anaerobic decomposition. Healthy soils contain 2.5 to 5% organic matter, by weight (5 -10% by volume). Fertilizing an acre takes pounds of nutrients, not a couple of ml. Dead soils eventually become barren desert land. If you like this post, please share ....... Error type: "Forbidden". As a general statement, sandy soil usually has less humus than clay soils. It can be manufactured by making compost the correct way, which must include animal manureally and urine with vegetable wastes. Even though some people refer to leaf mold as humus–it is not the correct definition. When plants drop leaves, twigs, and other material to the … It depends on what is growing in the soil. Think of humus as being a big sponge that can hold up to 90% of it’s weight in water. This term is floated around the net and it is not clear what it means. Humus is so stable that it can persist in the soil for hundreds of years. It is the primary source of carbon and nitrogen required by plants for their nutrition. Each time you add organic matter to the soil, it will increase the amount of humus in the soil. You create humus by creating a compost heap. Is so stable that it can be developed in straight peat moss, and it does far more then have... 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