Add humus to any type of soil to give it more vitality. Humus is rich in plant nutrients and minerals as well as the microorganisms required for strong healthy plant growth. For use in composting, humus soil is often created in "micro" batches and added to other soils to increase their fertility. No matter what type of soil you have, adding humus can make it more fertile.
Step 1: How Much Humus
When you apply humus, turn or mix it into the existing soil—don't just let it settle and absorb. Use approximately 1 wheelbarrow full of humus for every 5x5-foot section of soil to be treated, or about 1 cubic foot or humus for every 25 square feet or soil.
You can add more as desired without causing any harm, but using less than the suggested amount may result in reduced plant vitality.
Step 2: Pre-Mix the Soil
Before adding humus to soil, turn or loosen your garden plots. This will break up large clumps and encourage aeration. Mix your soil to a depth of 8 to 12 inches. You can use a tiller instead of a pitchfork, though tillers might harm the crucial layer of top soil.
Step 3: Mixing Humus with Soil
If the humus is pre-mixed with clay nutrients, it is ready to be applied to the soil. Use a flat-bladed shovel to spread the humus out evenly. Work only in small patches to prevent loss of vital nutrients through wind, sun or sudden rain.
After applying the humus, mix the soil again. For more fertility and healthier soil, apply humus twice, at least 24 hours apart.
Step 4: Humus and Rooting Beds
Humus is the best soil for potted plants and rooting beds. Fill the bottom of the bed with old leaves, and top that with humus. Add 2 to 4 inches of sand on top of the humus to retain moisture. This set up is perfect for starting seeds, or to encourage root growth on cuttings.
Humus is light enough for roots to grow without hindrance, and the layer of sand prevents nutritional loss from sun, wind and rain. The density of humus soil makes transplanting safer for the plants, reducing root damage.
Step 5: Frequent Treatments
For badly damaged soil, you may need to add humus multiple times. Before getting stuck in a routine, test the soil for acidity, which should be between 6.2 and 7.0. If the soil has a high acidity, add gypsum or lime in small amounts, and then apply more humus. For low pH levels, a mixture of water and ammonia makes a good treatment.
Use a garden sprayer to distribute the mixture. Adding humus to your soil is never going to harm it, but the original soil must be treated to remove the exiting problems.