These are terms referring to different sub-parts of humus. It is loose and friable, allowing plant roots to grow unrestricted. , There is little data available on the composition of forest humus because it is a complex mixture that is challenging for researchers to analyze. Local means it is not transported very far, which means it is much more environmentally friendly. The incorporation of oxygeninto large organic molecular assemblages generates many active, negatively charged sites that bind to positively … Humus definition, the dark organic material in soils, produced by the decomposition of vegetable or animal matter and essential to the fertility of the earth. This was the main point of my post. But modern agriculture refuses to work in the same way, and the results of ignoring these laws can be seen in our ailing fields with their depleted soils and damaged structures, and in our disease-prone cultivated plants. Humus is organic matter broken down into its smallest particle form. Dead soils eventually become barren desert land. It is basically compost. This humus represents up to 1 to 5% of the dry weight of the soil. Humus also plays an important role in the structure of the 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. Gardening is the best outlet for this struggle. Humus is one of the most nutritious planting materials around and is … Humus provides soil with a number of very important benefits: It enhances a soil’s ability to hold and store moisture. It can be mixed with soil to create humus soil: a healthier, richer base for your gardening. Epiphitic orchids do not have access to humus. It is considered the richest soil and is usually described as the ideal soil type. I have found this strategy to be extremely useful in my mixture for any horticulture botany experiment. I live in Missouri which is often a harsh and unforgiving climate.. Winters are cold summers are unreasonably hot and humid, and there are plenty of vermin and pests to prey on everything in the garden. The humus sponge holds onto these nutrients and prevents rain from washing them away. It is the primary source of carbon and nitrogen required by plants for their nutrition.  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. I use organic, no chemical or time release potting soil. In vegetable gardens where you are harvesting crops and taking nutrients away from the garden, you can add a bit more but not huge amounts. – the secrete to great soil – Humus is probably the most important part of your soil and few people know what it is. Organic matter is humified by a combination of saprotrophic fungi, bacteria, microbes and animals such as earthworms, nematodes, protozoa, and arthropods. Rich humus soil is black. I have been practicing with general horticulture for some time, I’ve had a lot of success using mushroom compost and bokashi fermented compost. Before I define humus, let’s look at some similar terms that add confusion to the story. The foundation of any food system is the availability of healthy soil. It is interesting to learn that humus is basically some form of carbon. I have constantly been struggling with this deep forming desire that grows in me everyday to promote and flourish a magnitude of life to help push the diversity around me.. Ive learned a lot. It apparently doesn’t even exist. As humus Because it is rich with nutrients, humus can be extremely valuable to the plant. Humus, nonliving, finely divided organic matter in soil, derived from microbial decomposition of plant and animal substances. The process is a bit more complicated than this, but you can think of humus as being a slow release source of fertilizer for your plants. 'mature compost' and 'humus' are not the same, although compost will contain humus. Do you have a source for cheap grow lights? Humus has many nutrients that improve the health of soil, nitrogen being the most important. It is the byproduct of the decomposition of plants and animal materials. It holds water, yet is well draining. If it doesn’t exist in the first place, that would explain it , That is correct, Leonardite is not Humus. The best way to understand humus is to understand how it is formed. This process is speculated to have been important in the formation of the unusually fertile Amazonian terra preta do Indio. I build closed terrariums. These relationships can be developed in straight peat moss – which does not contain humus. It can be made either through a composting process or can be found in nature, such as in the rich topsoil found in some forests. And some with seeds or seedlings that one does want to grow but to a limit. I like the explanations and definitions by Dr. Robert Faust of BIOAG. Bedrock, which is not soil, uses the letter R. 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-rich soil improves over time as more compost is added season after season, and plants decompose at the end of their life cycles. Perhaps the most important reason for having humus is that it is responsible for aggregation. Humus “consists mostly of carbon” – it is not really a form of carbon. Is a humus plant a thing? I collect soil from decomposing logs whenever I can come across them. Most soils have three major horizons: the surface horizon (A), the subsoil (B), and the substratum (C). Leonardite products in Williston ND is one of them. You’ll be glad you did. Use the material that is locally available. In this process, nitrogen (nitrogen cycle) and the other nutrients (nutrient cycle) in the decomposed organic matter are recycled. If you look in Wiki under Leaf Mold, you will see the term ‘humic’ matter highlighted. You can see if your soil is true humus by performing this simple test with soil, water, and a clear container. Humus also absorbs water, and expands and shrinks between dry and wet states to a higher extent than clay, increasing soil porosity. Can I ask a question , you seem like an experienced gardener, what kind of indoor grow lights do you prefer? If you are talking about the soil in the forest, then it will contain leaf mold from the current year and humus that is a result of decomposing organic matter from past years. 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