Last Updated: January 30, 2017

Definition - What does Humus mean?

Humus is the organic material in soil. Humus is not a form of soil, rather it is the broken down composted remains of leaves, grass, and other organic matter contained within the soil.

Humus is highly nutritious and rich in minerals and microbes vital for healthy plant growth. Humus also is able to hold 80-90 per cent of its own weight in moisture.

MaximumYield explains Humus

Raw organic matter attracts microorganisms that feed on it and break it down, converting it into humus.

The structure of humus is such that it acts as a buffer against soils that may be too acidic or alkaline.

The soil of forests is rich with humus from the composting of fallen leaves and plant undergrowth. Arid conditions where plants are scarce have very low humus content.

Humus may be created artificially through the use of a home composting system. It may be mixed with garden soil to provide a rich humus planting bed.

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