I’m not one for throwing around to many around to many Off putting Horticultural phrases, especially when im out working, as a Landscaper. However one word I do like to use a lot is Humus. As far as I am concerned, the more Humus, the better.
I can’t get enough of it. So first off let’s clarify things what exactly is Humus…?? .A quick reference in the dictionary describes it as the …“the dark organic material in soils, produced by the decomposition of vegetable or animal matter and essential to the fertility of the earth”. That for me is a pretty good definition.
Until recently compost was the only player in town if you wanted to enrich your plants besides the various chemical based Plant Foods (which I’m not a fan of). Most commercial composts in this part of the world , especially in Ireland are Peat based harvested from Bogs, which I think we all agree, is Not Best Practise.
Bogs can’t cope with the damage being inflicted on them, for example when a bog is cut, the water drains away from the surface of the bog. The bog then dries and shrinks and both the special plants of the area and animals can no longer thrive and the Bog is severely damaged.
The many more options available these days that are cleaner and greener and thankfully a lot of non peat based or greatly peat options which is very welcome and most importantly brimming with Humus.Think of humus as being like a sponge that can hold up to 90% of it’s weight in water.
This water holding capacity of humus is why humus rich soil will remain moist for weeks longer than soil without humus.
Interestingly nutrients that plants require stick to humus, including ammonium (source of nitrogen), calcium, magnesium and phosphorous all of these help to ensure your plan ts excel. The humus sponge holds onto these nutrients and prevents rain from washing them away.
Every garden I work in will get’s as much Humus as possible dug into the flower Beds, as often, as possible.
Irish companies are at the forefront in producing this kind of product. “Mulch.ie” based in Dublin produce all my Soil Enricher that is Humming with Humus.
For new lawns “Organic Gold” in Co Meath supply has a superb mix that looks good enough to eat. Small size quantities for pots etc is produced by “Living Green” based in Donegal. They produce highly nutritious compost made by earthworms, which encourages excellent root growth, and is particularly good for starting off new vegetable seedling in a 40 litre bag.
So now you have been told….The Secret to Great Gardens is to…..
“Get Them Humming With Humus”