What is Humus and how to build it in your soil

As gardeners, we may often read or hear about the term humus, and recognise humus as an important component of soil. However, many gardeners might actually be stumped when asked to define humus.

Today we explore humus, its importance for soil health, and our top tips to support its function and growth in your garden.

So, what is Humus?
Humus is the dark, spongy, tactile and delicious (not to be confused with the edible chickpea dip) material in soil that forms over a long period of time.

In a forest or bushland system, humus is generally made up of decomposed organic matter including fallen leaves, bark, branches, plant matter and animal waste, rich in essential nutrients plants require to grow.

In a cultivated or productive garden system, humus can form from decomposing mulches, green clippings, green manures, aged animal manures and composts. Across Australia, there are many types of soil that present different challenges and benefits to growing, however, we vegetable and market gardeners can strive to build a rich layer of humus soil that results in the following key benefits:

A healthy layer of humus is key to plant growth and essential for healthy resilient soils. This rich matter supports plant growth by attracting heat to the soil through its dark colour, and is rich in nutrients (minerals) that plants and soils need to thrive.

Importantly, this layer of humus is also vital to maintaining soil structure and supports soil drainage, whilst increasing air and water holding capacity. In a nutshell, humus helps create the perfect environment that our soils need to thrive and produce delicious and nutritious crops of vegetables, herbs and fruits!

How can biofertilisers support humus?
Now that we’ve established just how vital humus is for our plants and soils, how do we support the growth and function of this amazing resource in our own gardens and vegetable patches?

Through years of trials and research using biostimulants and biofertilisers to improve soil health, we believe that adding a biofertiliser, such as Food2Soil to your garden is a great way to accelerate the development of humus in your soil, year-round.

The digested food waste in every bottle is already broken down into available nutrients via our fermentation process. A similar result is achieved with composting but at a much slower rate and concentration. By adding Food2Soil, you’re applying a readily available supply of organic nutrients, along with beneficial microbes in one application, that’s why we often refer to Food2Soil as a 2 in 1 solution.

Why Food2Soil for supporting humus?
We have noticed humus is getting more recognition for being the holy grail of soil health, and we at Food2Soil are excited to be helping gardeners across Australia build more soil efficiently and effectively.

In particular, we find our biofertiliser is especially important for those who do not compost regularly at home. Composting availability can be limited for many gardeners due to garden size, a busy lifestyle or difficulty accessing the labour or materials to make good compost.. not to mention a little messy for apartment living. We like to think of adding Food2Soil to the humus layer as composting – ‘in situ’!

Are you using Food2Soil on your plants and soils to boost your soils humus layer? We’d love to hear from you!