As gardeners and food growers, we often look for a natural substance to boost our vegetable or garden plant growth.
Humic acid compost tea is one of those fantastic substances!
It can significantly benefit your plant’s nutrient uptake and retain nutrients in the soil.
Here’s everything you need to know…
What Is Humic Acid?
Humic acid is a base component of humic substances found in humus. There are 3 main humic substances;
- humic acid
- fulvic acid
Humic acid is not composed of a single acid. Instead, it comprises various acids produced by decaying organic matter.
It is one of the final products of the composting process once the organic material has broken down into its molecular component compounds.
Humic acid is produced commercially by sourcing it from underground prehistoric deposits or extracted from peat moss beds.
Humic acid can be purchased from your local garden center in liquid form like this (Amazon) or in humic compost that can be used directly in your garden.
While humic acid can be made at home, it requires dangerous, strong acids such as hydrochloric acid. In addition, the process of extracting humic acid at home is time-consuming and complex, not to mention risky with strong acids.
Humic acid added to your compost tea can greatly benefit your plant growth and increase plant development and yield.
What Are The Benefits Of Humic Acid For Plants?
Humic acid benefits more than just the plants but also improves the soil composition, which has long-term benefits for your garden.
Humic acid improves the soil structure by increasing the soil’s water-holding capacity at the molecular level by coating soil particles and enhancing their water retention.
The acidic nature of humic acid also releases nutrients from the surrounding soil. It makes it readily available in a format that plants can use more easily.
How the humic acid increases the water-holding characteristics of the soil also increases the overall drought resistance, bringing long-term benefits to your natural garden soil.
Humic acid directly benefits plants by attaching itself to plant roots due to the molecular charge of the humic acid. This attraction draws nutrients to the root zone. The chemical characteristics of humic acid optimize plant root nutrient uptake.
The organic compounds in the humic acid stimulate plant growth and store water-soluble inorganic minerals close to the root zone in the soil. This makes the minerals and fertilizer more accessible to the plant roots.
Humic acid improves a plant’s ability to absorb nitrogen from the soil. As all gardeners know, nitrogen is a critical component of plant growth and health.
How Often Should You Apply Humic Acid Compost Tea?
Humic acid is not dangerous to your plants and will not burn seedlings or plant roots. However, this lack of plant damage does not mean you should add humic acid every time you give your plants compost tea.
The recommended frequency of humic acid compost tea is feeding your plants and soil once every two weeks.
Giving humic acid to your plants more frequently will not harm them but will waste the humic acid.
How To Make Humic Acid Compost Tea
Humic acid can be added to your soil by making your own well-matured homemade compost. Still, it will take time to break down in your soil to provide the necessary humic acid to become readily available.
One way to speed up the humic acid delivery is to add some commercial humic acid to your compost tea.
The best way to make humic acid compost tea at home is to purchase some liquid humic acid from your garden center and add it to your homemade compost tea.
The compost tea can be made in the usual way by soaking compost in non-chlorinated water for 24 to 36 hours while aerating the mixture with an airstone and pump.
The humic acid can be added to your compost tea at the volume of 2 tablespoons of the humic acid per 25 gallons of homemade compost tea.
Mix the humic acid in 2 cups of non-chlorinated water before adding it to your compost tea.