Humic Acid in the Garden: Nature’s Unsung Hero

By Nikki Tilley | March 16, 2017
Image by Chet_W
by Nikki Tilley
March 16, 2017

Even if you’re an avid gardener, you’ve likely heard mention of humus but don’t really know much about it. So what exactly is it? Where does it come from and what does it do? Like many organic materials in the garden, humus is important for the health and growth of plants.


What is Humus?

One of the most abundant organic components of soil, humus is formed by decomposition and microorganisms. Wait, isn’t that just compost? Nope. And this is where much of the confusion sets in. Humus and compost are two different things, although you’ve probably heard them used interchangeably. In general, compost is slightly decomposed organic matter. While it may appear nice and crumbly when added to the garden, it continues to break down, for years even. At some point, however, the leftover molecules that remain become humus.

Also referred to as humic acid, it is among the most bio-chemically active materials found in soil, responsible for making plant life grow stronger and more vigorous by providing readily available nutrients. But that’s not all. Humus possesses high water retention and helps maximize fertilizer. Even still, one of its most crucial responsibilities pertains to aggregation, which is what makes garden soil loose, friable and easier for plant roots to grow in. And that’s something we gardeners definitely know about and understand – healthy soil means healthier plants.


Using Humic Acid in the Garden

So now the question is how or where do you get more humus, or at least something close to it? That’s where companies like Southland Organics come in. Their sole purpose is to provide natural solutions to natural problems, and you can’t get more natural than humic acid. With specialized processing of unique peat material, they’ve successfully managed to keep beneficial microorganisms intact, creating products that are similar to and just as beneficial to plants in the garden, helping them grow and thrive as nature intended – organically.

Some of these top products include:


  • Jump Start – breaks up compacted soils and restoring the soil to a healthy state while improving nutrient uptake.
  • Garden Ignition – helps create rich compost that enriches the soil healthy by accelerating the decomposition process.
  • Ultimate Tea – this highly concentrated compost tea introduces beneficial microbial life into the soil, giving plants that extra boost of nutrition for healthy growth.
  • Liquid Fish – this organic fish fertilizer uses naturally occurring enzymes and cold water processing to create a fish hydrolysate, which unlike fish emulsion, breaks down fish frames more easily and significantly reduces odor.


So now that you know a little more about humus and its importance in the garden, take your organic gardening up a notch by centering it around the use of humic acid. Not only will you be taking advantage of nature’s resources, but your garden plants will thank you with lush, healthy growth.

The above article was sponsored by Southland Organics. The information contained in this article may contain ads or advertorial opinions.
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  • Mark
    Comment added April 29, 2021Reply

    Superb, very nice information. Humic Harvest is a manufacturer and bulk supplier of WEFHAS certified humic acid in the USA. Our Organic Water Extracted Humic Acid is used as a soil supplement for crops, plants and lawns. It stimulates plant growth. For more details visit

  • Margaret Negron
    Comment added September 8, 2018Reply

    In the soil, humic and fulvic acids are important chelators, combining minerals intoorganic compounds that are more available to plants. ... They are often applied with microbial inoculants and liquid organic fertilizers. They will already be present in good soils with lots of organic matter
    For more details:

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