Aug 24, 2021

Using Humic Acid for Your Soil

by Will, Ginger Beard of Power

Science is amazing. Mother nature is spectacular. 

I love to garden, and like you, I want to be responsible for what I add to my soil and what can go downstream.

Giving your soil what it needs to grow healthy flowers and food is a gardener’s ongoing adventure. So when I heard that maybe you have enough iron in your soil, but your beloved maple tree may not be able to consume it, I had to know why. 

According to, “Humic acids chelate nutrient compounds, especially iron, in the soil to a form suitable for plant utilization. Thus, the nutrient supply of plants is optimized…The most important feature of humic acids lies in their ability to bind insoluble metal ions, oxides and hydroxides, and to release them slowly and continually to plants when required.”

Over the years, I added and added and added organic matter and some fertilizers. With that, I had good results. Then I found Humic acid, and my yard and garden got much better. Humic is part of the organic matter decomposition process. It gets a step closer to turning my soil content into proper food for my plants. Using it means I need fewer fertilizers, the yield is better, the amount of potential runoff is low, and it gives my garden a better chance of living green and healthy. 

You can apply humic acid in several ways:

Dry Powder - with a dust mask on, you can mix it into your garden water and leave it to do its work. I believe in a “disturb your soil as little as you can” garden. So avoid tilling year after year. There is evidence you will lack mycelium growth if you till too often.  

Granular - with a mask, you can spread on all soil - Garden, grass, and working beds. Water it in and try not to disturb soil unnecessarily. 

Liquid - My last choice. Transporting all the liquid weight is less than ideal, but it may be best for you. You can add the granular or powder to water in a watering can and apply directly to your garden.

Many of you may be composting really well, which will add the same reactive qualities to your soil. But for most of us that may compost what you can and need a little help, this is a great way to help your soil out. I have put on a 2x application on the same day, so it is a very gentle addition to make. 

One word of warning. This natural addition is dark brown to black, so it will turn your white leisure suit to a gray leisure suit. It has always washed out well for me, but be warned!