Adding humus to your garden can help the environment by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. How does humus buildup help reduce CO2? We’ll show you how to get more humus in your garden.
In this post you can learn about
- 1 What is Humus in Garden Soil
- 2 Why does humus help absorb Carbon-dioxide CO2
- 3 What are the consequences of humus depletion
- 4 How to promote humus build-up in the garden
What is Humus in Garden Soil
Soils are huge carbon sinks. A significant portion of the humus layer, which is largely composed of carbon compounds, is formed as a result. Composting in gardens and farms, on the other hand, does more than just improve the climate by absorbing CO2.
Fertile soil and therefore essential plants are also promised by using humus in the garden. So, we’re here to tell you about humus formation in the garden and to inspire you to start using organic fertilizers as well as climate-friendly planting soils.
Why does humus help absorb Carbon-dioxide CO2
Biomass decomposition results in the formation of humus, which is a type of soil conditioner. Humus can be made from a wide variety of living species, all of which contain a high carbon content. As a result, humus, a soil organic matter, can store and collect carbon.
Biomass gets converted into fertile humus as explained in the process shown below,
- As a result of photosynthesis, plants capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and use it to develop their own bodies.
- They eat these plants and use the useable carbon molecules in them to increase their body bulk.
- Carnivores might eat these herbivores and reuse the carbon in their own metabolisms, which they could then use for another reason.
- Dead plants and animals are decomposed by several smaller organisms.
- Soil organisms can make humic compounds from some, but not all, of the carbon bound in the body.
- It is humic compounds that give our land its fertility and productivity.
Carbon is continually carried into the soil, stored there, and therefore removed from the atmosphere if humus production and breakdown are fostered in the soil. However, soil humus can degrade fast once more under specific circumstances. When this happens, beneficial humic chemicals such as carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere.
All the soils around the world store around 2400 Giga Tons of carbon which is higher than all the atmospheric carbon as well as the carbon in all living plants and animals. Only the oceans store a much higher quantity of around 38000 Giga Tons of carbon.
The oceans should not be allowed to take in any more carbon dioxide since doing so will cause them to become even more acidic, which will upset the delicate balance of the underwater environment. The health of our soils is critical in slowing or halting climate change.
What are the consequences of humus depletion
Lack of humus results in an increase in CO2 emissions and a decrease in soil productivity. Soil humus content is a dynamic variable that is constantly being built up and degraded. In other words, the amount of content might either increase or decrease.
Despite this, more humus is decomposed and transformed back into carbon dioxide (CO2) during modern agriculture and peat extraction than is generated. Adding CO2 to the atmosphere accelerates climate change, hence this is an issue. It’s also a sad day for soils when humus disappears since the “black gold” acts as a vital resource for soil organisms, offers nutrients, and water storage.
It also helps loosen soil structure, which is crucial for plant growth. Because they are less fertile, soils with less humus content produce lower yields.
How to promote humus build-up in the garden
- Use potting soil that has been decreased or eliminated from peat.
- Use organic fertilizers as much as possible.
- Prepare your own compost.
- Soil humus can be improved by using effective humus management techniques.
When you promote humus buildup in your own garden, you do the environment and yourself a favor. Who doesn’t want fertile, healthy soil?
Use Peat-free or Peat-reduced potting soil
It’s easy to get started by using potting soils that don’t contain peat. This is due to the fact that, despite their tiny size, peatlands store nearly one-third of all soil carbon. It releases a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when they’re drained to make peat moss.
Some earthworks focus on gentle extraction, rewetting of the areas, or even cultivation of the bog (marsh) forming Sphagnum mosses. These are responsible earthworks. Peatlands can be rejuvenated and their role as carbon sinks resumed in this fashion. Peat, on the other hand, what is it? Learn more in our in-depth report.
Organic fertilization and composting to build the Humus layer
Switching to organic fertilizers is a simple but critical step. Organic fertilizers supply your plants for a long time with all of the necessary nutrients and trace nutrients. At the same time, they care for the soil and the organisms in it, which helps to develop humus.
Your own composter is an extremely cost-effective method of producing humus. All you need is some time and dedication to turn your organic waste into a great fertilizer and soil conditioner. After that, you can even make your own compost soils by following our instructions.
Proper Humus management in Garden Soils
We go into great length in our post on humus management about how to strategically build humus. In this section, you will discover how factors like soil vegetation, fertilizer supply, and tillage affect the humus content of your soils.