Hey Mr.organic, I really enjoyed reading all that information about humus. I have been researching and trying to find out just what makes the most humus in a man made concocksion but, I have not come up with a definate formula.
I typed in humus in the google search and came up with a book for sale by a man in Australia who said he can tell you how to make humus in your garden. The book is $35 and he sends two or three other plant books as a gift. But I am thinking, " Does he really know something concrete or just selling another organic book." He said there is one thing every compost needs alot of to make humus??? but you have to buy the book to find out.
I am so tempted to buy the book and see what it talks about. I know he cant say organic matter because that is just what all compost piles are made of.
The article you refered to here is one of the best I've read.
I think that if we leave the soil to build up natural organic materail in a layer, like what you find in the forest or in the country. That is the top three or four inches being higher in forest and two inches in flat lands, that is where the humus is.
I have seen under an old oak tree, where it has not been disturbed a thick layer of compost, rich dark, decomposed organic matter.
I could be totally wrong but I think this might be the best way to garden. I have been looking at the lasanga gardedning styles and I want to give it a try. I have been adding compost and organic material to my garden for 8 years now and while it has impoved a great deal. I think the rotatilling has caused faster decompostion of the organic matter so as not to retain as much of the ( humus ) and organic matter that I have been trying to aquire all these years by adding , manure, green cover crops of lagumes and compost. I have just recently gotten into the vermicomposting. Even though I have plenty of earth worms in the soil. I can't afford all the castings I want with two small boys in shcool.
The best way I can describe humus is a small particles in an decomposed organic materail that hold minerals and nutruients and moisture like a small claylike material that is not compost or is not clay, but does what both can do at the same time.
I would sure like to fugure out how to make it
I have read not to put partially decomposed compost in the garden as it will rob the soil of its nitrogen as it continues to break down. BUt if left on the surface of the soil it would not compete with plant roots for the nitrogen and once broken down into real compost which is unrecegnizable it would go down into the soil with water and feed the plants. So no wonder why we see weeds five or six feet tall in the country.
I guess I just had a long way to say, that was a good read about humus and I am going to re-read it again in a few days. Thanks Will
chemical NKP= candy,Soda and chips for breakfast,lunch and dinner