Humic Acid for lawn and garden - Experiences?

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Valdeselad
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:42 pm

Humic Acid for lawn and garden - Experiences?

Post by Valdeselad »

Hi everyone,

I am interested in anyone that has knowledge or experience using humic acid on lawns, gardens, etc..

Some background: At our home, we have a (large) yard, raised beds for veggies and herbs, and "beds" around the house for plants, flowers, etc. We have St. Augustine as the grass type, although inevitably it's mixed with some Bermuda and other stuff as are many lawns around here. I mow as high as I can (4.5"+) and water deeply and infrequently. I try to be very aware of what I put on the yard and garden and why, preferring to take a long term approach to improve the soil instead of focusing on top growth on the grass or plants directly. I do not use herbicides or pesticides, and fertilizer applications are done with a specific (slow release) nitrogen target in mind (mixture of natural and synthetic) for the entire season - as an example I typically target 1-1.5 lb N2/1000 sq. ft on the St. Augustine vs. bag rates of 3-4 lb/1000 sq. ft over the course of a year. We compost all of our used kitchen scraps directly into the raised beds and rotate those areas over time.

That brings me to today, and I have become interested in the potential benefits of applying humic acid to the yard and raised garden beds. My understanding is the primary benefit is that it helps roots with the uptake (absorption) or various nutrients in the soil. However, anything I choose to apply needs to be cost effective, given the overall large amount of area I'm working with.

Does anyone have experience using humid acid? If so, any recommendations on cost effective ways to apply it? I'm thinking some kind of water soluble mixture that I would spray would be better than using a spreader from bags, which can get very expensive very quickly.

Thanks!
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Devil's Advocate
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Re: Humic Acid for lawn and garden - Experiences?

Post by Devil's Advocate »

I have used antler king plot max for a clover food plot. It was 25 bucks for 1/2 acre. Can't say about the effectiveness tho.

Its on Amazon if you want some.

DA
jm1495
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Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:06 pm

Re: Humic Acid for lawn and garden - Experiences?

Post by jm1495 »

Have you done a soil test? Otherwise you're probably not applying the correct nutrients and fertilizer. I've applied Humic acid to my turf because it was low organic material OM and could use the help as determined by a soil test.
livesoft
Posts: 75830
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Humic Acid for lawn and garden - Experiences?

Post by livesoft »

I have never used humic acid. A bit of our yard is St Augustine. The non-grass parts of the yard are "beds" that have pines, oaks, sweet gum, winged elm, yaupon holly, american holly, and azaleas. I fertilize with 15-5-10 fertilizer with slow-release nitrogen in the form of sulfur-coated particles about twice a year. This seems to be all the nutrients that the yard needs, though the pine needles and other leaves as well as the male cones and "catkins" of the other species that fall in the St Augustine are just mowed without bagger and stay there. There is no lawn "aeration' needed, no weed killer (though I hand-pull some weeds), etc. Watering is based on what has happened with the weather, so not on a schedule.

Roots are fine and deep for the St Augustine and I have absolutely no concerns. However, too much watering of St Augustine can lead to brown patch and Take-All Root Rot which are both fungal diseases. The neighbors have patches each year that can get transferred to one's yard. It's another post on how to deal with it if it happens.

I'm unsure of what you are trying to do or the appearance that you are trying to achieve. I cannot imagine that humic acid would be needed at all for an established yard of St Augustine which grows like a weed if given typical fertilizer and nothing special. Would you like to post any photos?
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Topic Author
Valdeselad
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:42 pm

Re: Humic Acid for lawn and garden - Experiences?

Post by Valdeselad »

livesoft wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:17 pm I have never used humic acid. A bit of our yard is St Augustine. The non-grass parts of the yard are "beds" that have pines, oaks, sweet gum, winged elm, yaupon holly, american holly, and azaleas. I fertilize with 15-5-10 fertilizer with slow-release nitrogen in the form of sulfur-coated particles about twice a year. This seems to be all the nutrients that the yard needs, though the pine needles and other leaves as well as the male cones and "catkins" of the other species that fall in the St Augustine are just mowed without bagger and stay there. There is no lawn "aeration' needed, no weed killer (though I hand-pull some weeds), etc. Watering is based on what has happened with the weather, so not on a schedule.

Roots are fine and deep for the St Augustine and I have absolutely no concerns. However, too much watering of St Augustine can lead to brown patch and Take-All Root Rot which are both fungal diseases. The neighbors have patches each year that can get transferred to one's yard. It's another post on how to deal with it if it happens.

I'm unsure of what you are trying to do or the appearance that you are trying to achieve. Would you like to post any photos?
Not going for a specific “look”. But I am interested in learning about methods that improve the soil. As I stated in my post, I don’t put a lot of product down or subscribe to the marketing machine of the lawn improvement companies.

Simply put, the potential benefits of humic acid are interesting to me as a supplement to what I do today, and I was curious if others had experience with this product.
livesoft
Posts: 75830
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Humic Acid for lawn and garden - Experiences?

Post by livesoft »

Valdeselad wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:28 pmNot going for a specific “look”. But I am interested in learning about methods that improve the soil. As I stated in my post, I don’t put a lot of product down or subscribe to the marketing machine of the lawn improvement companies.

Simply put, the potential benefits of humic acid are interesting to me as a supplement to what I do today, and I was curious if others had experience with this product.
I would think that the lawn mower mulched in grass clippings alone would create enough humic acid and fulvic acid from normal biological processes that one would not need to supplement with these things at all.

My career as a biochemist with some contracts from agricultural companies like Dow AgroSciences in the areas of both weed killers and natural insecticides has made me appreciate how to "test" ideas on my own lawn. So my suggestion to you if you decide to supplement with humic acid is to not treat all possible square yardage, but to have small areas of untreated (control) and treated right next to each other that get the same amount of sunlight, the same amount of watering, the same daily temperatures, the same other fertilizing, etc. Keep good notes and take before/during/after photos. You can do the same in your vegetable garden, too. Be patient and see what happens over time. I have a notebook/diary of what I do to my lawn, so I know what improves things and what doesn't.
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wfrobinette
Posts: 1452
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:14 pm

Re: Humic Acid for lawn and garden - Experiences?

Post by wfrobinette »

Valdeselad wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:51 pm Hi everyone,

I am interested in anyone that has knowledge or experience using humic acid on lawns, gardens, etc..

Some background: At our home, we have a (large) yard, raised beds for veggies and herbs, and "beds" around the house for plants, flowers, etc. We have St. Augustine as the grass type, although inevitably it's mixed with some Bermuda and other stuff as are many lawns around here. I mow as high as I can (4.5"+) and water deeply and infrequently. I try to be very aware of what I put on the yard and garden and why, preferring to take a long term approach to improve the soil instead of focusing on top growth on the grass or plants directly. I do not use herbicides or pesticides, and fertilizer applications are done with a specific (slow release) nitrogen target in mind (mixture of natural and synthetic) for the entire season - as an example I typically target 1-1.5 lb N2/1000 sq. ft on the St. Augustine vs. bag rates of 3-4 lb/1000 sq. ft over the course of a year. We compost all of our used kitchen scraps directly into the raised beds and rotate those areas over time.

That brings me to today, and I have become interested in the potential benefits of applying humic acid to the yard and raised garden beds. My understanding is the primary benefit is that it helps roots with the uptake (absorption) or various nutrients in the soil. However, anything I choose to apply needs to be cost effective, given the overall large amount of area I'm working with.

Does anyone have experience using humid acid? If so, any recommendations on cost effective ways to apply it? I'm thinking some kind of water soluble mixture that I would spray would be better than using a spreader from bags, which can get very expensive very quickly.

Thanks!
First of all you are cutting that grass too high. St Augustine grows and thrives when it is kept between 2.5 and 3 inches with an upper limit of 4. Warm season grasses get leggy and thin when mowed high.

If the beds are already being used for composting it should already have plenty of humic acid there.

Grass has a root cycle. Roots grow, some die, new roots appear, grow and die and so on. Over time there will be plenty of organic material in the soil from that process. If you are mulching and not bagging you should have plenty of decaying matter as well.

Grass needs a good balance of NPK. Feed with milorganite or similar fertilizer. You can also feed your lawn soybean meal a great source of N. If you can't find soybean meal you can get https://www.saferbrand.com/store/organi ... fertilizer. That stuff works great, You can also use Sulfate of Potash 0-0-50 in the fall to feed the roots. All of these are natural fertilizers. Kelp meal is another way to get more organic material into the soil. You may even need to add some lime if PH is low. Or sulfur if PH is high.

Get a soil test and it will tell you everything you need to know.
cleosdad
Posts: 275
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:32 am
Location: Littleton Co

Re: Humic Acid for lawn and garden - Experiences?

Post by cleosdad »

wfrobinette wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:45 pm
Valdeselad wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:51 pm Hi everyone,

I am interested in anyone that has knowledge or experience using humic acid on lawns, gardens, etc..

Some background: At our home, we have a (large) yard, raised beds for veggies and herbs, and "beds" around the house for plants, flowers, etc. We have St. Augustine as the grass type, although inevitably it's mixed with some Bermuda and other stuff as are many lawns around here. I mow as high as I can (4.5"+) and water deeply and infrequently. I try to be very aware of what I put on the yard and garden and why, preferring to take a long term approach to improve the soil instead of focusing on top growth on the grass or plants directly. I do not use herbicides or pesticides, and fertilizer applications are done with a specific (slow release) nitrogen target in mind (mixture of natural and synthetic) for the entire season - as an example I typically target 1-1.5 lb N2/1000 sq. ft on the St. Augustine vs. bag rates of 3-4 lb/1000 sq. ft over the course of a year. We compost all of our used kitchen scraps directly into the raised beds and rotate those areas over time.

That brings me to today, and I have become interested in the potential benefits of applying humic acid to the yard and raised garden beds. My understanding is the primary benefit is that it helps roots with the uptake (absorption) or various nutrients in the soil. However, anything I choose to apply needs to be cost effective, given the overall large amount of area I'm working with.

Does anyone have experience using humid acid? If so, any recommendations on cost effective ways to apply it? I'm thinking some kind of water soluble mixture that I would spray would be better than using a spreader from bags, which can get very expensive very quickly.

Thanks!
First of all you are cutting that grass too high. St Augustine grows and thrives when it is kept between 2.5 and 3 inches with an upper limit of 4. Warm season grasses get leggy and thin when mowed high.

If the beds are already being used for composting it should already have plenty of humic acid there.

Grass has a root cycle. Roots grow, some die, new roots appear, grow and die and so on. Over time there will be plenty of organic material in the soil from that process. If you are mulching and not bagging you should have plenty of decaying matter as well.

Grass needs a good balance of NPK. Feed with milorganite or similar fertilizer. You can also feed your lawn soybean meal a great source of N. If you can't find soybean meal you can get https://www.saferbrand.com/store/organi ... fertilizer. That stuff works great, You can also use Sulfate of Potash 0-0-50 in the fall to feed the roots. All of these are natural fertilizers. Kelp meal is another way to get more organic material into the soil. You may even need to add some lime if PH is low. Or sulfur if PH is high.

Get a soil test and it will tell you everything you need to know.
I am putting Milorganite down next week and it is getting harder to find.
wfrobinette
Posts: 1452
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:14 pm

Re: Humic Acid for lawn and garden - Experiences?

Post by wfrobinette »

cleosdad wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:28 am
wfrobinette wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:45 pm
Valdeselad wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:51 pm Hi everyone,

I am interested in anyone that has knowledge or experience using humic acid on lawns, gardens, etc..

Some background: At our home, we have a (large) yard, raised beds for veggies and herbs, and "beds" around the house for plants, flowers, etc. We have St. Augustine as the grass type, although inevitably it's mixed with some Bermuda and other stuff as are many lawns around here. I mow as high as I can (4.5"+) and water deeply and infrequently. I try to be very aware of what I put on the yard and garden and why, preferring to take a long term approach to improve the soil instead of focusing on top growth on the grass or plants directly. I do not use herbicides or pesticides, and fertilizer applications are done with a specific (slow release) nitrogen target in mind (mixture of natural and synthetic) for the entire season - as an example I typically target 1-1.5 lb N2/1000 sq. ft on the St. Augustine vs. bag rates of 3-4 lb/1000 sq. ft over the course of a year. We compost all of our used kitchen scraps directly into the raised beds and rotate those areas over time.

That brings me to today, and I have become interested in the potential benefits of applying humic acid to the yard and raised garden beds. My understanding is the primary benefit is that it helps roots with the uptake (absorption) or various nutrients in the soil. However, anything I choose to apply needs to be cost effective, given the overall large amount of area I'm working with.

Does anyone have experience using humid acid? If so, any recommendations on cost effective ways to apply it? I'm thinking some kind of water soluble mixture that I would spray would be better than using a spreader from bags, which can get very expensive very quickly.

Thanks!
First of all you are cutting that grass too high. St Augustine grows and thrives when it is kept between 2.5 and 3 inches with an upper limit of 4. Warm season grasses get leggy and thin when mowed high.

If the beds are already being used for composting it should already have plenty of humic acid there.

Grass has a root cycle. Roots grow, some die, new roots appear, grow and die and so on. Over time there will be plenty of organic material in the soil from that process. If you are mulching and not bagging you should have plenty of decaying matter as well.

Grass needs a good balance of NPK. Feed with milorganite or similar fertilizer. You can also feed your lawn soybean meal a great source of N. If you can't find soybean meal you can get https://www.saferbrand.com/store/organi ... fertilizer. That stuff works great, You can also use Sulfate of Potash 0-0-50 in the fall to feed the roots. All of these are natural fertilizers. Kelp meal is another way to get more organic material into the soil. You may even need to add some lime if PH is low. Or sulfur if PH is high.

Get a soil test and it will tell you everything you need to know.
I am putting Milorganite down next week and it is getting harder to find.
Lowes has an alternative called procare. Similar but not the same. Search out that soybean mea or pellets (Check feed stores can get it) or try the saferbrand stuff I listed above. stuff.
cleosdad
Posts: 275
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:32 am
Location: Littleton Co

Re: Humic Acid for lawn and garden - Experiences?

Post by cleosdad »

wfrobinette wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:07 am
cleosdad wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:28 am
wfrobinette wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:45 pm
Valdeselad wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:51 pm Hi everyone,

I am interested in anyone that has knowledge or experience using humic acid on lawns, gardens, etc..

Some background: At our home, we have a (large) yard, raised beds for veggies and herbs, and "beds" around the house for plants, flowers, etc. We have St. Augustine as the grass type, although inevitably it's mixed with some Bermuda and other stuff as are many lawns around here. I mow as high as I can (4.5"+) and water deeply and infrequently. I try to be very aware of what I put on the yard and garden and why, preferring to take a long term approach to improve the soil instead of focusing on top growth on the grass or plants directly. I do not use herbicides or pesticides, and fertilizer applications are done with a specific (slow release) nitrogen target in mind (mixture of natural and synthetic) for the entire season - as an example I typically target 1-1.5 lb N2/1000 sq. ft on the St. Augustine vs. bag rates of 3-4 lb/1000 sq. ft over the course of a year. We compost all of our used kitchen scraps directly into the raised beds and rotate those areas over time.

That brings me to today, and I have become interested in the potential benefits of applying humic acid to the yard and raised garden beds. My understanding is the primary benefit is that it helps roots with the uptake (absorption) or various nutrients in the soil. However, anything I choose to apply needs to be cost effective, given the overall large amount of area I'm working with.

Does anyone have experience using humid acid? If so, any recommendations on cost effective ways to apply it? I'm thinking some kind of water soluble mixture that I would spray would be better than using a spreader from bags, which can get very expensive very quickly.

Thanks!
First of all you are cutting that grass too high. St Augustine grows and thrives when it is kept between 2.5 and 3 inches with an upper limit of 4. Warm season grasses get leggy and thin when mowed high.

If the beds are already being used for composting it should already have plenty of humic acid there.

Grass has a root cycle. Roots grow, some die, new roots appear, grow and die and so on. Over time there will be plenty of organic material in the soil from that process. If you are mulching and not bagging you should have plenty of decaying matter as well.

Grass needs a good balance of NPK. Feed with milorganite or similar fertilizer. You can also feed your lawn soybean meal a great source of N. If you can't find soybean meal you can get https://www.saferbrand.com/store/organi ... fertilizer. That stuff works great, You can also use Sulfate of Potash 0-0-50 in the fall to feed the roots. All of these are natural fertilizers. Kelp meal is another way to get more organic material into the soil. You may even need to add some lime if PH is low. Or sulfur if PH is high.

Get a soil test and it will tell you everything you need to know.
I am putting Milorganite down next week and it is getting harder to find.
Lowes has an alternative called procare. Similar but not the same. Search out that soybean mea or pellets (Check feed stores can get it) or try the saferbrand stuff I listed above. stuff.
Thanks. I can still get it but supply is low and demand high. I also use Richlawn organic fertilizer. It is made here in Colorado for our area and is popular with golf courses.
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