Humus Does not Exist – Says New Study

As a gardener we all talk about humus. Some of us even buy humus soil, and humic substances like humic acid and fulvic acid. We add compost to gardens to increase the humus level in our soils in the belief that humus is good for soil. Good garden soil is dark because of the high humus content.

If there is one thing all gardeners agree on, it is that humus is good for the garden – right?

Maybe not!

Science now says our beliefs about humus may be wrong. In this blog I will review some earth shattering news – or is that soil shattering news?

humus Contentious Nature of Soil Organic Matter
Humus Does Not Exist – Says New Study: The Contentious Nature of Soil Organic Matter, by Johannes Lehmann & Markus Kleber, published in Nature

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Compost–What Is Compost?

I was doing some reading about compost and compost myths and I asked myself, do I really know what compost is? I thought I knew. I had certainly read a lot about it, and I have been making it for over 40 years. I started by Goggling the definition of compost and it quickly became clear that the popular dictionaries on the net don’t agree on a definition. In fact they contradict one another. It became clear that this simple question had a more complicated answer.

The posts for the next several weeks will be dedicated to composting, making compost and composte‘, if you prefer that term. I’ll unravel the truth behind this black gold.

Compost - what is compost?
Compost – what is compost?

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What is Humus?

You have probably heard that humus is an important part of your soil, but few people know what it is and why it is important. There are many myths about humus that need to be cleared up.

It turns out that humus may be the most important thing in soil: more important that dew worms, and organic matter, but it gets so little attention. This post will have a closer look at humus to better understand how we should be gardening to create and maintain humus rich soil.

Humus soil
We are talking about humus, not hummus!

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