For those who research organic methods, humic (and fulvic) acids may be a familiar term but not really understood. For most of us, we do not have a clue what these are.
Humic substances are the result of the breakdown of organic matter by microbial activity – think of compost a million years old. Typically, coal is the source of humic substances from which humic acid is extracted.
We do not truly understand how humic acids interact with the environment but experts, farmers and other users understand their value. As is true with all products that are added to your growing environment, the results you observe from adding humic/fulvic acids is highly dependent on the condition of your existing soil. Humic acids can
- Increase soil microbial activity
- Improve uptake in plants (increased root structure efficiency)
- Buffer pH
- Improve soil structure
- Reduce evaporation and run-off
- Help release bound nutrients
- Immobilize pesticides
Its interesting to think that in this age of scientific discovery and advancement, we have so little understanding of our environment.
So, is humic acid a garden wonder drug? As usual, the answer is ‘that depends’.