The makeup of your soil or grow solution plays a critical role in your crop’s health and development. In nature, crops grow according to the chemical composition of the ground where their seeds happen to fall. Sometimes, this means growing in a fertile, lush environment that promotes optimal development for the plant. Other times, it means a shorter lifespan, fewer flowers or seeds, or lower quality vegetation because the soil is devoid of nutrients.
When you grow crops, you must have total control over their environment. Your crops aren’t subject to the natural soil composition determined by years of geological and weather events. Rather, they’re in a highly controlled, optimized environment designed to push them to their full potential. Maximize your crop’s potential by learning how to use humic and fulvic acid.
In this article, you’re going to learn:
- How humic acid fertilizer works.
- The benefits of humic acid for crops.
- How to use humic and fulvic acid for crops.
- Crucial facts you need to know about leonardite.
The world of organic humate products is a large one, and we want to equip our growers with the right information to navigate with confidence.
Humates, Humic Acids And Fulvic Acids
In order to understand the role of humic acid in plant growth, it’s important that you understand a few important terms:
- Humus: The organic component of soil, created when microorganisms eat through decaying leaves and other plant materials. This process is known as humification.
- Humates: Naturally occurring materials that are rich in humic substances, the primary organic components of coal, soil and peat.
- Humic substances: The main organic component of soil, contains humic acids, fulvic acids and humins.
- Humic acids: Complex acids that contain groups of ions arranged to enable chelate complexes. Chelate complexes enable humic acids to regulate the bioavailability of metal ions present in a plant’s grow environment. Humic acids are water-soluble in water with a pH higher than two. They are dark brown to black in color.
- Fulvic acids: A type of humic acid with a low molecular weight and oxygen content. Water-soluble, regardless of the water’s pH level. Fulvic acids are fairly light in color, from yellow to a light brown.
- Humins: Not water-soluble, black in color.
- Chelates: Chemical compounds that crops absorb easily and dissolve more easily than other types of compounds. Chelates are characterized by their ability to retain and release specific metal ions.
- Chelation: The process through which ions and molecules bond to metal ions. In crops, chelation makes it possible for nutrients to move within plant bodies more freely, making them more available to the crops.
- Bioavailability: The amount of a nutrient that’s absorbed by a plant.
The Role Of Humic Acid In Plant Growth
For crops, humic and fulvic acids are chelators. They combine minerals to make them into organic compounds that can be ingested by plants more easily. They also enable the soil to hold more water and can increase the water infiltration of the soil. Additionally, humic and fulvic acids restrict toxins present in the soil, reducing the amount of harmful substances that reach the crop’s roots.
Humates come from a variety of sources, such as shale, coal and mudstone. Different sources and processing procedures yield widely varied humate fertilizer products.
Could I Use Leonardite Coal To Provide Organic Humic Acid?
You’ve probably heard about extracting humates from leonardite, a common source of humates and the source we use to produce OG Organics™ Ancient Earth®.
Leonardite is a mineraloid that can easily be dissolved in alkaline solutions, which makes it easy to use in hydroponic growing. It developed over millions of years from decaying organic material like animal, plant and microorganism remains found in saltwater deposits. Today, it’s derived from lignite, a type of soft coal, through the process of oxidation and extracted in mines close to the ground’s surface.
Leonardite is not a uniform product. Although it is always 100 percent organic, its composition can vary widely. Sometimes, it’s as much as 90 percent humic acid. It can also contain as little as 10 percent humic acid, and when it does, it can contain high concentrations of ash or heavy metals. This is why it’s so important to your crop’s health that you choose a leonardite product that clearly lists its acid breakdown.
We recommend Ancient Earth Organic OIM to give your crops full access to all the nutrients in their growing environment. In fact, we’re so confident it will improve your garden that we offer a 100 percent money-back guarantee to any grower who’s less than satisfied. Unlike many other leonardite products on the market, Ancient Earth Organic OIM is certified by the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Organic Input Material Program (OIM).
How To Use Humic Acid For Crops
Humic acid comes in a few different forms. You can apply dry humic acid powder to your soil, or you can dissolve it in water and deliver it to your crops through watering. You can also purchase liquid humic acid, dilute it, then deliver it to your crops via watering.
Using Organic Fulvic Acid To Grow Better Crops
There are many benefits to using humic substances in your garden. Their primary asset is how they naturally facilitate your crop’s absorption and use of nutrients. Fulvic acids are natural chelates. When you introduce the micronutrients your crops need into their environment, the fulvic acids form bonds to protect them from reacting with other ions in the plant’s environment and potentially being overpowered by them. Bonded to the chelate, the nutrients can travel up the plant’s roots into its tissue, where the chelator can release them.
Chelation makes otherwise insoluble nutrients soluble, increasing their bioavailability to crops. In addition to making more nutrients available to your crops, humates promote root growth. More roots mean more avenues for nutrient absorption for your crops, and within those avenues, chelators carry and protect the building blocks for healthy, hardy crops.
Fulvic acid doesn’t change anything about your crops. Rather, it enhances the crop’s natural processes. Fulvic acid organic gardening is an effective way to increase plant strength and crop yields without using synthetic compounds.
Ancient Earth Organic OIM was not designed to be used alone. Your crops should always have the base nutrient formula created for your grow environment, whether that’s soil, hydroponics or coco coir. You should also be using a fertilizer meant for the type of growing you do. Add Ancient Earth to your grow system to increase your crop’s root efficiency and aeration so plants are able to grow healthier and stronger from increased nutrient absorption ability.
Use Humic And Fulvic Acid For Crops To Help Them Reach Their True Genetic Potential
As a conscientious cultivator, you should be paying close attention to what’s happening in your garden at the chemical level. This is where great crops become even better crops. Enhancing your garden with humates doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive — when you use OG Organics™ Ancient Earth®, all you have to do is follow our recommended feed chart to guarantee stronger, healthier crops.
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