What Kind Of Mulch Knock Out Roses
If you do not know what Humus is, join the club. No, it's not the tasty Mediterranean treat spread on pita bread. It is a term used to describe a process that is vital to life on earth. You may be wondering, why then was it not a major item on your high school biology exam? Well, that could be because Humus is such a tough word to define. It is a process that has been playing hide and seek with scientists, gardeners and biologists for centuries.
Humus is to plants what drawing breath is to us. We take it for granted and no one really talks about it, but if it stops, we stop. And that would mean for good. The difference is that we can explain and understand respiration. Humus is not so easy to clear up. There are parts of the process that have been revealed but eventually, we have to admit that Humus is still something we just don't fully get.
A great example of this is the plentiful descriptions of Humus that can be found. Some are lengthy explanations that seem to go in circles. While others are relatively clear, but really hard for us that don't hold any Biology degrees, to understand. So here is a little bit about Humus. It will not get you into graduate school, but it will help you understand why your garden is working or why it isn't
Humus is one of those scientific terms that often are defined by using itself. That is because it is easier to through a term out there then trying to dissect the scientific meaning behind it. Humus is also used as a label for an intense process that is difficult to explain.
With all that said, there are still a couple of things that gardeners and just ordinary people might want to know about Humus. It is, after all essential to life on earth, making this tricky term very important. Let's begin with a small piece of the pie. Humus is the result of decomposed organic materials in soil. It is a mixture of animal, plant and other organic materials from manure and decomposition. The process that leads to Humus production is called humification. Humification naturally takes place in soil or when compost is made. It is essential in increasing the fertility of soil. Humus holds moisture in the soil and makes plant growth possible.
Humification is an intense process that combines water soil, sun and decomposing materials of living things to provide nutrients for plants. How it is extracted from soil is still a mystery. People have been trying to pinpoint a clear concise definition of Humus since the days of the Romans. In the late eighteenth century J.G Wallenis narrowed Humus down to the decomposition of organic materials. He was headed in the right direction but it wasn't until 1840 that it was discovered that plants can not get minerals directly from the soil.
Plants can only get nutrients from the soil in an inorganic state. Plant food is transformed first into mineral salts. Theses mineral salts are the result of the humification of decomposing matter which is the most efficient environment for Aerobic microorganism. The amount of free oxygen present in soil is a major contributor in managing good or bad conditions under which Humus is created. Soil temperature and moisture combine with the decomposing residue and make Humus. If there is too much oxygen and organic matter decomposing swiftly Humus won't occur. This is common in tropical areas. Another determiner is soil temperature. If coil temperature rises, microbial activity increases. In very aerated soil Humus does not build up.
There are different types of Humus. There is peat Humus and it can also be formed in water or soil. The better the Humus, the better your garden will be. You will have healthier plants due to the soil balance that Humus maintains.
Of course, as a gardener it would be nice to have a clear definition of Humus. But let's face it, we can't explain everything. Just be glad that it is here to help you in you gardening endeavors. Humus Happens! And that is the most important thing for you to know about it