What is Humus?
21 July 2020 | HOTBIN Composting
Is Humus good for your garden?
Humus is the long-lasting dark organic matter that forms in soil when dead plant and animal matter breaks down further, specifically through the action of anaerobic bacteria.
Is humus good for your garden?
Yes – It is definitely good for the garden.
Humus has many nutrients that improve the health of the soil and improves the formation of good soil structure. Humus also helps the soil retain moisture by creating void spaces in the compost and increases water retention. The higher quality, well decomposed compost you can add into your soil, the higher the water retention and the more drought resistant your garden will become.
The more humus in your compost the better for your plants, soil and the environment. Soil science indicates humus is one of the most important items in soil fertility. Nutrients from decayed material end up in the soil at some stage and these nutrients are retained and made available for plants via humus.
Are humus and compost different?
Yes. 'mature compost' and 'humus' are not the same, although compost will contain humus.
In gardening, the term 'humus' is often used to mean compost. In soil science, humus is the common group name for humic substances, i.e. fulvic acid, humic acid and humic. The properties of humic substances include:
Other names for Humus
There are numerous names to describe groups of materials that contain humus (or more correctly humic substances) The list includes: humates, humic acid, leonardite, brown coal, lignite, slack lignite, oxidized lignite, weathered lignite, humalite, fulvic acid, fulvates, ulmic acid, humic shale, carbonaceous shale, colloidal minerals, humin, concentrated humus, soil organic matter, peat, humus acid, humus coal.