Humus, why is Humus so essential in our soils… unlike other biological inputs?

Author: Daniel Fitzhenry   Date Posted:10 January 2016 


Humus improves /conditions 3 areas of soil e.g. Physical, Mechanical, & the Chemical. Click on the heading above to read more....

Humus, why is Humus so essential in our soils… unlike other biological inputs?

 

Humus improves /conditions 3 areas of soil e.g. Physical, Mechanical, & the Chemical.

 

Physical conditions improved incl.

  • Creates desirable soil crumb structure,  texture and looseness / friability: essential for hard clay Soils
  • Creates adequate drainage
  • develops suitable aeration
  • sponge-like: increases water holding capacity
  • increases heat absorption due to black colour of Humus
  • increased Buffering properties E.g. reduces rapid soil ph extremes (acid/alkaline) conditions i.e. in accepting or donating free hydrogen ions
  • increased openness for easy surface absorption of water thus reducing surface water runoff & soil erosion & soil water accumulation

 

Mechanical conditions improved incl.

  • a more favourable for plant root system development, especially important for root crops
  • highly desirable environment for beneficial microbes because Humus is both a food source and home for beneficial microbes

 

Chemical soil activity incl.

  • active disintegration of soil rock thus releasing additional supplies of vital plant nutrients
  • increases soil chemical reactions that convert a number of important plant elements incl. chemical compounds available for plant root uptake e.g. the conversion of Phosphorus into a form acceptable for plant use; also the chelating of soil iron compounds to a form suitable for plant use in leaf chlorophyll development-yellowing of leaves, (chlorosis) i.e. iron starvation

 

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