If we are to go by its definition, it is the soil that has a substantial amount of decomposed matter in it. This, however, is just a basic attribute, and there is a lot more to know about this soil type.
Humus Soil: An Overview
Humus soil is produced over a period, as a result of the decomposing of organic matter. This organic matter may include anything, right from fallen leaves to animal waste. When organic matter decomposes, it forms tiny negatively charged humus particles in the soil.
The process by which humus soil is formed is referred to as humification. This process can occur naturally, i.e., on its own, or artificially, i.e., by the means of composting. When fallen leaves start decaying, the decayed matter is added to the soil, thus enhancing its fertility.
In this, we have an apt example of natural humification. The fertility of the soil also improves when animal waste is added to it, in what is an apt example of artificial humification.
As far as the appearance is concerned, humus soil ranges from dark brown to black in color, with specks of white in it. This soil has the ability to hold mineral particles together in clusters known as aggregates.
These aggregates, in turn, improve the structure of the soil and contribute to its fertility. The presence of humus in soil also alters its ability to withstand drought. You do have the option of buying humus soil for your garden, but we would suggest you to make it on your own.
How to Make Humus Soil?
If you have time to spare, you can prepare humus soil on your own by resorting to composting. You can either use yard debris, like fallen leaves or mowed grass, your household waste, or animal waste for the same. You simply have to add this organic matter to the soil and allow it to decompose in the compost pit.
You will have to turn the matter at least once a week to ensure that there is enough oxygen to facilitate the process of humification. Similarly, you will also have to monitor the moisture content of the soil. After some time, you will see tiny white matter in this soil. This will be a sign of your humus soil being ready to use.
Preparing humus soil on your own ensures that you have it in abundance all round the year. The rate at which the organic matter is converted to humus plays a crucial role in determining the life of this soil. At the end of the day, irrespective of whether you buy it or make it on your own, humus soil is the best bet if you are planning to start gardening.