You may have heard or read about humates more than once. Maybe even with some success, use them on your site. But, given the fact that this fertilizer is relatively new, many beginner summer residents have yet to discover humates. In detail about what humic fertilizers are and how to use them, you can read in the material Humic fertilizers - methods of application for different cultures. And in this article I want to share my experience of using this inexpensive and very effective substance for the growth and development of plants.Why and how do I use humates?
What are humates?
But, for starters, it's still worth recalling a little theory. The word "humates" is consonant with the word "humus", and we always called humus that valuable that is in the earth thanks to which plants grow well, develop, blossom and bear fruit.
Humus in our area is formed as a result of decomposition of plant residues with the help of worms and all kinds of soil microorganisms. That is, ideally, we need to cover the surface of the garden plot with fallen leaves, cut branches, needles and other "used up" plant materials as much as possible, and the underground inhabitants themselves will turn all this into fertility for some time.
Carrying out this from year to year, we improve our soil, making it not only fertile, but also moisture- and air-absorbing, that is, convenient for our plants. Convenient in that all chemicals, primarily introduced in the form of fertilizers, due to humus (more specifically humic acids) are transferred to a form accessible to plants (chelate). Or, if it’s simpler, fertilize as much as you like with “mineral water” in the sand, it will not do anything, but the effect will be noticeable on more or less fertile soil.
Everything is fine, but it takes time to create humus. How to speed up the process? Scientists have thought and come up. Relatively speaking, if you take soil rich in humus (humic acids) and treat it with alkali, then as a result of a chemical reaction salts will fall out - the very humates. In fact, concentrated fertility is concentrated humus.
In practice, peat, coal or other materials are treated with potassium or sodium alkali. Getting potassium humate or sodium humate, respectively. There is some difference between them. Say, not all plants like sodium, and some, on the contrary, love it.
It is believed that sodium humate is an excellent drug to increase the resistance of plants to stress: unexpected frosts, droughts or flooding, severe frosts and diseases. And potassium humate has a more pronounced stimulating effect on plants.Stimulating the development of the root system is one of the most important and useful properties of humates
Why do I use humic fertilizers
For root system development
Sometimes gardeners have to not only plant, but also replant trees and shrubs in their area. At the same time, no matter how hard you try, the root system is inevitably injured, in other words, it is partially chopped off by a shovel during excavation.
Moreover, the peripheral part suffers, where the bulk of the thin suction roots, which provide plant nutrition, is located. And if such an excavation is done after school hours, in late spring or even in summer, then the plant has little chance of surviving.
This is exactly what happened last summer. The neighbors, moving out of the site, out of kindness, suggested that I dig up a couple of young seedlings - a pear and a plum, "as a keepsake," so to speak. June, the heat is just around the corner, but what to do? Dug up, brought home and began to think.
Plant immediately in the ground, even with watering, they are unlikely to take root. And then I remembered about humates. He divorced, according to the instructions, and soaked the root system for a day. During this time, he prepared large containers (seven liter buckets with holes in the bottom), poured loose and fertile soil mixture, and planted seedlings, and he abruptly shortened the aerial part (1/2).
Why planted in a container? I reasoned this way: I will put them in a shade, not far from the water, so there are more chances. And it worked! But in addition to soaking before planting, I also spilled them with a humate solution once every 2 weeks.
Already in late autumn, it was clear that the trees, although they did not give growth, were alive. What a surprise it was when, having pulled them out of the container, I discovered a pretty good root system, moreover, from small thin, light roots that could be lost. Seedlings were planted in open ground and last year they already showed growth.
So, stimulating the development of the root system is one of the most important and useful properties of humates. It is believed that in potassium humate, it manifests itself more strongly, but I also tried sodium humate in this role, it also works.
I love to propagate plants in a vegetative way, rooting cuttings and layering. In the case of cuttings, I also soak them for several (5-6) hours in a humate solution, and then I stick them in the "cuticle". And again, every 2 weeks, in addition to the main watering with water, I spill a humate solution. Rooting is faster and friendlier.
For the growth of the aerial part of the plant
“I got it” and this option: sometimes the young seedlings bought, say roses, hydrangeas, do not want to grow at all, as they say, “sit still”. They are alive, but they do not give growth. Again I cultivate a humate, according to the instructions, and spill such seedlings. In a week or two you can see the effect.I have sodium humate in the form of black crystals.
How do I use humates?
Surely, many readers have a logical question, but what concentration to use? The fact is that the assortment of humates on the market is large, and the most correct answer will be the one that I have already voiced - according to the instructions.
I have sodium humate in the form of black crystals. A teaspoon of these crystals should be filled with 1 liter of hot water (temperature approximately 60 degrees) and incubated for several hours (5-6) to dissolve. I do this in a glass jar (just in case, be careful: a humid humate crystal can make an “eternal” stain, like potassium permanganate).
When the concentrate is ready, it is strongly diluted with water before use - 0.5 l of concentrate per 10 l of water. This is for watering and for soaking cuttings and roots. But I repeat, as indicated in my instructions. In any case, one should be careful with humate solutions, excess concentration is unacceptable and can burn roots or cuttings, and instead of being useful, can be harmful.
Stronger solutions of humates can be used to soak seeds before sowing, and weaker ones - for foliar top dressing on leaves, including seedlings.
Of course, it is worthwhile to understand that humates, although they are called concentrated fertility, do not in any way replace fertility. But they allow the plant to comfortably absorb what is in the land of your site and what you apply as fertilizer.