Humic and fulvic acid are the unsung heroes of soil life. Both are essential with the break down and uptake of nutrients that are present in the soil. Looking at the size difference between humic and fulvic acid, humic is much larger than fulvic. If fulvic were a VW, then humic would be a freight train. This size discrepancy changes the functions of both drastically.
We’ll start with describing humic acid. Since this compound is so large, the ability of plants to take it up is hindered. This is why most of its functions are more centered around soil conditioning. It is an immediate chelator. This means that it attaches itself to mineral ions like a claw. This action prevents these minerals from being locked up in the soil. Humic acid also anchors nitrogen, preventing leaching. With nitrogen being the most common nutrient deficiency, this can be key in making sure that it’s available for the plant. Another great function is how it can prevent the oxidation of iron. Iron is a catalyst for chlorophyll production. Once iron is oxidized, it becomes unavailable for plants. Humic and fulvic acid both help to keep iron water soluble and even stimulate cells to take up iron more efficiently.
Moving on to fulvic acid. Since they are so small, they can penetrate the cell wall and mitochondria. They bring along with them trace minerals and nutrients. Along with that, fulvic acid helps stimulate root development and helps with the uptake of water. Fulvic acid works very well with seaweed extracts like kelp meal. These products can contain plant-growth hormones such as auxin and cytokinins. These two particular hormones help with cellular elongation and division. Humic and fulvic acid used with kelp can even amplify the effects of those hormones further increasing the growth rate of your plants.
Humic and fulvic acid are great additions for both conventional and organic gardening. These tiny but mighty compounds can be such a benefit for both your plants' and soil's health. It comes in both a dry and liquid form to suit your style of gardening. So whether you like to fertilize with your watering, or would like to mix into your current soil recipe, there are many ways to get these great benefits to work for you.
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