Humic Acid Composting: Facts and Fiction

Humic acid is a hot topic in composting. It is a natural component of soil, mulch, peat and other earthy products. Humic acid is a by-product of microbes created during the decomposition of organic matter. 

What Does Humic Acid Do?                                                                                     

Humic acid holds moisture in, and keeps soil wetter for longer. It also helps plants absorb vital nutrients.     

Do You Need to Add Humic Acid to Your Compost?                                                                 

There are some companies that produce humic acid as an additive for compost and compost tea. Compost by itself creates humic acid. Unless your soil is sterile, the humic acid produced naturally by composting is all you need.     

Should You Put Humic Acid in You Compost Tea?                                                                

Commercially produced humic acid can be a useful additive in compost tea. It is a food substrate and food source for microorganisms. Plants being given compost tea with humic acid added to it will benefit from its ability to aid in water retention and nutrient uptake. Humic acid can also increase the fungal content of your tea.   

While it can enhance the effects of compost tea, commercial humic acid is not a necessary additive for composting.