Natural Product Ingredients: Kelp, Molasses, Yucca & Humic Acid
Posted: Mar 13 2020
We receive a lot of inquiries with respect to the ingredients that make up our product formulations.
To quote Top Gun, "I could tell you .... but then I'd have to kill you ..."
No, just kidding. However, our formulations are patented, so we are cautious in how much information we share on each of our product formulations.
"The success of our collection of products for plants is based on a tailored blend of beneficial microbes, beneficial bacteria, amino acids and fungi that all play a role in the health of a plant throughout the plant’s life and growth cycle." Owner, Earth Smart Solutions
In addition to beneficial microbes and bacteria, amino acids, and fungi, our product formulations also include:
- Macronutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Learn more about each of their benefits in our Blog: Macronutrients Required for Plant Growth
- Micronutrients: copper, boron, iron, zinc and molybdenum. Learn more about each of their benfits in our Blog: Micronutrients Utilized in our Plant Products to Maximize their Potential
- Natural Ingredients
- And more
Our plant products in particular are comprised of different blends of these ingredients which help plants to maximize their potential throughout the various stages of their life cycle, with each ingredient aiding at different stages of development.
Lean more about each of the natural ingredients that we use in many of our product formulations and their benefits:
Kelp is a completely natural, organic product and a source of over 70 vitamins and minerals, amino acids, trace elements and plant hormones.
- Kelp contains natural antibiotic properties that can suppress harmful bacteria while promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria.
- Additional benefits of kelp:
- Increased yields
- Bigger, more robust root systems
- Increased resistance to abiotic stresses:
- UV light
Molasses is the by-product of beating sugar cane, grapes or sugar beets into sugar. The material that is left after most of the sugar has been removed is molasses, a black sticky substance.
- Molasses contains sugar, vitamins, additional carbohydrates, concentrated important trace elements and minerals such as calcium and iron.
- Molasses is an excellent source of food for beneficial microbes.
- Microbes in the soil include bacteria, fungi and algae. Soil structure is built up over a long time and it is maintained by the microbes in the soil that digest the organic matter, mostly leaves, that cover the ground each fall. Microbes are responsible for building soil structure and making your soil better. The organic matter added to the garden is the food source for the microbes. The greater the amount of microbial activity in the soil, the healthier plants will be.
- It is important to have microbes in your soil, which need to be fed. Feeding them will keep them healthy and encourage reproduction. The more microbes that you have in your soil the better. Microbes love sugar. Since molasses is mostly sugar, microbes love molasses. Molasses feeds the microorganisms and microorganisms feed the plant. Using molasses as fertilizer provides plants with a quick source of energy and encourages the growth of beneficial microorganisms.
- Molasses also increases the overall vitality of plants, making pests less likely to attack.
Yucca is a flowering desert plant.
- Yucca contains saponins, which are natural surfactants, or wetting agents. Surfactants break the surface tension of liquids, allowing them to be more easily distributed and absorbed.
- Yucca helps to increase plant cell wall permeability and dispersal of liquids.
- Yucca helps increase dispersal of water and nutrients across plant and soil surfaces and to go where plants gain the most benefit, the root zone.
- Increased plant cell wall permeability allows water and nutrients to be more efficiently spread.
- Yucca protects against plant pathogens
- According to Green Eden, "Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of Yucca Extracts in treating seed borne and other bacterial and fungal plant pathogens.
Common plant diseases such as Fusarium, Leaf Spot, Pythium, Alternaria, and others have been successfully controlled by treatment with Yucca. Yucca Extract has been shown to have a broader anti-fungal effect when compared to commercially available fungicides."
- Yucca helps reduce plant stress from drought, heat and salinity. As a desert plant, yucca has developed mechanisms to tolerate and manage these types of stress conditions.
- Yucca increases soil filtration and absorption of water and nutrients
- Yucca contains complex sugars which benefit microbes, helping them to grow and multiply and help build robust soil ecosystems.
Humic acid is a powerful biostimulant.
“Humic and fulvic acids are the final break-down constituents of the natural decay of plant and animal materials. These organic acids are found in pre-historic deposits. Humic matter is formed through the chemical and biological humification of plant and animal matter and through the biological activities of micro-organisms. Humic acids are complex molecules that exist naturally in soils, peats, oceans and fresh waters.” (Source: SoilBiotics)
- Humic acid is a group of molecules that bind to, and help plant roots receive water and nutrients. High humic acid levels can dramatically increase yields. Humic acid deficiency can prevent farmers and gardeners from growing crops with optimum nutrition.
- Main benefit of including humic acids in a liquid foliar application is that the plant will be able to uptake and utilize the nutrients in the solution many times more effectively than without the humates.
- In the soil, humic and fulvic acids are important chelators, combining minerals into organic compounds that are more available to plants.
- Additional benefits of humic acid include:
- Increases nutrient uptake by making nutrients more available. Without humic acids present, some of the nutrients provided by fertilizers become inaccessible to plants.
- Decrease toxins. Humic acids tie up toxins, making them less available to plants. They chelate harmful toxins in the soil, preventing them from entering the plant. These pollutants degrade the soil quality, and without proper remediation, they continue to degrade crop health and volume. These toxic molecules are captured by humic molecules and locked up. Unlike nutrients, they’re not uptaken by the plants, and eventually they’re flushed away. This vital process keeps plants healthier in today’s increasingly challenging growing environments.
- Increase the water infiltration and water-holding capacity of the soil. The negative charge of humic acids attracts positive ions, or cations, which stick to the humic molecule. These cations, in the presence of water molecules, move slightly away from the humic molecule and attach loosely to the oxygen end of water molecules. The hydrogen ends of those water molecules then attach to the hydrogen ends of other water molecules. This effect reduces water evaporation by up to 30%.
- Improve microbial growth. Humic acids aid the growth of microbial populations by: providing a source of carbon which serves as a food source for microbes. Due to their large size, they provide a source for microflora to colonize.
- Humic acids provide food and shelter to beneficial microbes, which explains why microbial populations flourish in the presence of humic acids.
- Better overall soil structure. Although humic acid has a net negative charge, it carries both positive and negative charges. And it has a very large molecular size. Because of these properties, humic acids are able to bond to all soil particles, which creates necessary space for microbes and healthy root growth. This is especially noticeable in high-clay and compacted soils, where soil particles are bound tightly together. Humic molecules are even capable of standing clay particles on end, which allows more space and water penetration. Further, they remove salts from clay, which restores a negative charge from the clay particles, forcing them apart.
- Increase plant root growth and metabolism
- Enhance seed germination
Earth Smart Solutions does not claim to be an expert on each of these ingredients and how they specifically impact plant and soil health. The information presented in this blog is a compilation of information presented from a variety of sources.
You should not rely solely on the information contained in this website as it does not purport to be comprehensive or specific to your personal needs or requirements.
Growers Trust, The Benefits of Kelp for Plant Growth
The Organic Gardener’s Pantry, Humic Acids
Earth Green, The Top 5 Benefits of Humic Acid
Eco Farming Daily, Humic Acid: The Science of Humus and How it Benefits Soil
Gardening Know How: Molasses As Fertilizer: Information On Feeding Plants With Molasses
Harley Smith: RAW Cane Molasses
Green Eden, Yucca Plant Extract 101
Ocean Organics, Seaweed