Monday, April 7, 2008

Garden Terms I've Learned: Humus

Humus - I had no idea - upon first glance I was thinking more along the lines of hummus and was thoroughly confused.

Wikipedia set me right.

Humus is the organic material in soil lending it a dark brown or black colouration.

In soil science, humus refers to any organic matter which has reached a point of stability, where it will break down no further and might, if conditions do not change, remain essentially as it is for centuries, if not millennia.

In agriculture, humus is sometimes also used to describe mature compost, or natural compost extracted from a forest or other spontaneous source for use to amend soil.


Now where do I find fairly cheap humus in the Indianapolis area - preferably the Franklin, Greenwood, Whiteland area? Lowes?


prairievisiondesign : handmade said...

I'm interested in knowing, too - have you tried McCarty Mulch? Stones Crossing Garden Center might know of a source, too.

prairievisiondesign : handmade said...

p.s. instead of purchasing rich soils (which can be expensive), I've had success doing "lasagna gardening." It involves layering organic matter and other materials (including newspapers) to enrich the soil. It's been easy and cheap. Here's a book: (most libraries have the book)

SuzyQ said...

Thank you prairievision! Yes, it is funny how expensive dirt is..we are having to put top soil down on our yard (it is a newer home and all the top soil has been scraped off during construction leaving us with a sticky clay mess that is hard to grow anything in) - we have been buying it in bags in for the front yard because there is only a few patchy area...but the backyard needs entirely covered in top soil and we are hoping to find someplace that will let us buy in bulk instead of those bags. Thank you for the tips!