To get the best results from your application of humic acid to your lawn, follow these simple rules:
- Apply humic acid during your lawn’s growing season, preferably in spring or fall.
- The ideal application is just after spreading a microbe-feeding fertilizer.
- Apply in the morning or evening. Afternoon applications can cause your water-based humic acid solution to evaporate before it can be absorbed by the soil.
- Choose a wind-free day, to keep your solution from being carried away or evaporated by the wind.
With these few guidelines, you’re set to apply humic acid, one of the most underrated lawn boosters available. It’s easy and safe to use and can provide a big boost for your yard.
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What is Humic Acid?
Humic acid is derived from decayed organic matter (plants or animals) in soils. These humic acids help beneficial soil microbes reproduce. These microbes then work to break down matter and make nutrients available to plants and grass in your yard.
Commercial humic acid can be derived from peat, coal, and other decomposed plant matter. As these organic substances break down, they form complex acid structures that fuel beneficial microorganisms in your yard. Think of humic acid as a key to unlock the nutrients in your soil and feed your lawn.
Benefits of Humic Acid
Humic acid improves soil consistency, color, and water retention, among other things. Below are the top reasons you should use humic acid on your lawn:
- Increases the population of helpful microorganisms in soils.
- Increase soil’s ability to retain water, air, and nutrients.
- “Chelates” nutrients in soils and fertilizer, making them easier for plants to absorb.
- Helps plants to absorb nutrients that would otherwise be blocked to them by high or low soil pH.
- Combats the negative effects of salt in soil, from fertilizers, pet urine, and other sources.
- Promotes larger and stronger root systems in plants and grasses.
- Increases plant membrane permeability, making it easier for your lawn to absorb nutrients.
- Increase the germination rate of plants and grasses.
These are all reasons humic acid is heralded as a super-effective soil amendment. It reduces the harmful effects of poor pH and high salt levels in the soil at the same time it helps retain soil moisture and feed plants more nutrients. Your lawn will see a huge boost in growth, color, and health after you apply humic acid.
How to Apply Humic Acid
Now that you know the benefits of humic acid, you’ll want to apply it to your lawn at the next opportunity. In order to do so, just follow these steps:
- Choose a windless day in spring or fall, when your lawn is green and growing.
- Plan to apply in the morning (before 9 AM) or evening (after 5 PM)
- Spread a natural fertilizer that works by fueling microorganisms on your lawn.
- Mix 2 ounces of liquid humic acid per gallon of water.
- Use a pump sprayer with the nozzle held 2–6 inches above the grass to spray the humic acid mix evenly over the grass.
- Apply 1 gallon of humic acid and water mix per 100 square feet of lawn.
It’s that simple. The humic acid will go to work right away, breeding helpful microorganisms in your soil. Then, as the granular fertilizer breaks down, the microorganisms will feed on these nutrients. Finally, the microorganisms will release the nitrogen and other nutrients to your lawn as necessary. Fertilizing and spraying a humic acid mix on your lawn is the perfect one-two punch.
How Often Can You Apply Humate to Your Lawn?
1–2 times per year is the optimal application schedule for humates and humic acid. Make your first application in early spring, around the time your lawn greens-up. This lines up with your spring fertilizer timing. Then, apply humic acid in the fall, typically in September or October, right after your application of fall fertilizer.
- Apply 1–2 times per year.
- For optimal soil benefits, apply once in spring and once in fall.
You will experience diminishing returns from applying humic acid more than twice per year. It’s just not worth the time, effort, and cost.
Does Humic Acid Need to be Watered In?
If you spray a liquid humic acid mixed with water on your lawn, there’s no need to water it in. It will begin to penetrate the soil immediately. Just follow your standard watering schedule. The humic acid will be pulled deeper into the soil. If you water too much, you might wash out some of that helpful humic acid.
- There’s no need to water a liquid humic acid application into the soil.
- After spreading a granular humic acid product, water it into the soil.
If you’re using a granular humic acid, water it in after spreading it according to product label rates and directions. Granular soil amendments require water to break down the pellets and cause them to begin entering the soil.
Can You Put too Much Humic Acid on Your Lawn?
Overapplication of humic acid will not harm your lawn. Chiefly, humic acid boosts soil microbe populations and makes soils more receptive to water and fertilizer. Unlike some fertilizers, humic acid won’t burn your grass.
- Overapplication of humic acid will not harm your lawn.
- Humic acid will not burn the grass.
- Humic acid will raise soil acidity marginally, but this is not a large concern.
Because humic acid is, as the name implies, an acid, it will raise soil acidity slightly during application. However, humic balances out this drawback by decreasing the negative impact acidic soil usually has on grass and plants. So, it’s worth the tradeoff. If you are concerned about soil acidity, test your soil’s pH levels to see if your lawn needs lime.
What is the Best Time to Apply Humic Acid to Your Lawn?
Apply humic acid in spring and/or fall to promote healthy soil and boost the growth of grass in your lawn. Humic acid is practically a natural soil jet fuel. It helps break down fertilizers, makes your grass grow better roots, and helps soils retain moisture, all while helping to heal from the effects of salt and unbalanced soil pH.
To get the most benefit, apply humic acid just after you’ve spread fertilizer in spring and fall. Choose a wind-free day and apply in the morning or evening, to prevent evaporation of a liquid humic acid mix. By combining humic acid and fertilizer, you can multiply the positive effects of your lawn fertilizer and see fast results for a healthier lawn.