Humate is a generic term for some products sold for soil amendment.  They are all forms of humic acid derived from well-decomposed organic matter.  The product comes in various forms for horticultural use.  Humate forms for horticultural use are as a finely ground powder or a coarser particulate that is suitable for dry spreading.

Humic acid is usually applied to the turf to stimulate growth; its real value is in its ability to absorb fungicides and herbicides.  Studies have shown that applications of humic acid or humate can reduce the effectiveness of system pesticides.   Such studies indicate that humates are effective in mitigating the effects of residuals in the soil.  (Kussow, 2002)

A study conducted by Ohio State University researches said in part “humic acids increased plant growth” and that there were “relatively large responses at low rates of application.” (Arancon, 2006)

In 1998, North Carolina State University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, a study showed that the addition of humate to turf grass increased root mass significantly. (Liu, 1999)

We recommend applying humate to turfgrass at a rate of 10lbs per 1000 square feet.

Links and Resources

For more information about organic gardening, lifestyles, and living, visit our website at West Texas Organic Gardening.

If you found the information here helpful, you might also find these articles on our website of interest.

Fixing Damaged Soil

Assessing Soil Health


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Arancon, N. Q. (2006). Effects of humic acids from vermicomposts on plant growth. European Journal of Soil Biology, S65- S69.

Kussow, W. R. (2002). Humate and Humic Acid. Horticulture Update,

Liu, C. C. (1999). Humic Substances Their Influence on Creeping Bentgrass growth and Stress Tolerance. TurfGrass Trends, 6.