Soil Conditioners for Horticulture
Over the last few years the trend for “healthy” eating means that more and more people are concerned about the chemicals that are used to treat their fruit and vegetables. As awareness heightens and legislation tightens regarding pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, farmers are being restricted in the chemicals that they can use. This is of particular importance to fruit and vegetable growers, as retailers insist on very high production standards.
Everything in food production starts with the soil, which must be kept in good health at all times. Intensive production systems have had an adverse effect on soil physics and chemistry, which in turn as increased the reliance on chemical treatments. This is a cycle which must be broken. Humintech™ products can be used not only in the field but in greenhouses and hydroponic systems too.
Specific trials on fruit and vegetables have shown the following positive results:
Apple trees planted in Poland almost doubled their yield after only 2 years’ of Powhumus application.
Potato yield in Egypt increased by a third in one year of treatment with Powhumus. The average potato size also increased, with a preponderance of large and medium sized potatoes.
Strawberry roots and shoots increased after treatment with Powhumus at a greenhouse trial in Germany.
Vines and roses showed increased root growth and increased fertiliser uptake after Liqhumus application. There is no reason to suppose that application of Humicraft Liquid (a similar product but with added seaweed and amino acids) would not show similar results.
Benefits can be summarised thus:
Improved soil condition and structure The water holding capacity is increased and the soil cation exchange capacity (CEC) is improved. This in turn leads to:
Higher yields Regular use of quality humic acids increases crop yields and quality. The effects are cumulative, as humic acids retain nutrients for slow, steady release throughout the growing season.
Increased nutrient efficiency Studies have shown that once a regular programme is in place, inputs can be reduced by up to 30% Restricted rooting is seen as a major limiting factor on crop yields and humic acids increase root depth and vigour which in turn increases nutrient uptake. Humic acids, through their unique chemical formulae, hold nutrients in the soil thereby reducing losses through leaching and volatilisation. In addition, the availability of important trace elements is also increased.
Improved disease resistance By encouraging microbial activity in the soil, a healthy root zone is maintained, which prevents penetration by parasites. Humic acids reduce plant stress and increase the efficacy of applied fungicides, pesticides and herbicides by immobilising their harmful residues. In the case of transplants, the roots can be dipped in product before planting and seed potatoes can be treated before planting.
Reduced water demand This is of particular value in areas of low rainfall and light, sandy soils – in fact, the very soils where many of our vegetables are grown. By adding organic matter to soils, humic acids bind water in the soil and reduce drainage losses. Studies have shown that demand for water can be reduced by up to 50% and plant stress from drought is reduced.
Profitability By increasing yields, improving quality and reducing fertiliser inputs, the benefits of using Humintech products far exceed the costs.
Humic acids can be used as soil or foliar applications, seed treatments, or hydroponically in enclosed environments. Full soil analyses should be conducted before any product choices or recommendations are made. A site visit is always recommended and we offer competitive rates for soil testing to our clients.
Which Product is Best for Me?
Pow Humus (soil conditioner and growth stimulant)
100% water soluble granule This is an excellent, versatile product that can also be used as a seed treatment to increase germination rates and as a soil treatment to stimulate root growth and improve soil condition.
BioHealth TH BS (suppressor of soil borne pathogens)
A humic acid with seaweed water soluble granule specially formulated with Trichoderma strains and Bacillus Subtilis. Ideal for field vegetable growers where soils are prone to nematode attacks. By treating soil prior to planting or using as a seed treatment, BioHealth TH BS protects your crops from pathogen attack. If a chemical pesticide has been used, then a minimum of ten days must pass before treatment. This is a prophylactic treatment only and will not cure already diseased crops. We are currently undertaking further research on this product at The Agriculture, Food and Biotechnology Institute in Belfast with particular emphasis on pathogen control.
Fulvital Plus (micro nutrient deficiency corrector)
A liquid fulvic acid with added trace elements. Fulvic acid is lighter than humic acid and actually penetrates the roots and leaves. Suitable for foliar application, it contains added iron, zinc, manganese and copper and provides benefits that conventional, synthetic trace element mixes do not (increased vitality, increased penetration of trace elements etc.). It can be used to correct soil deficiencies before planting or it can be used as a foliar spray on ornamental plants, fruit and field vegetables. To avoid multiple spraying, it can be mixed with fungicides.
Humicraft Liquid (soil conditioner)
A liquid humic acid with added seaweed and amino acids, this is a good product for fruit and vegetable growers, especially in dry summers when crops are subject to stress.