Are you wondering what a soil activator is and why you need it?
Soil fertilizer is a formulation with many microbial food sources that make the soil fertile.
It contains vitamins, seaweed extracts, amino acids, molasses, humus, and fish that enrich the soil.
Let’s see what exactly a soil activator is, how it works, and why you need to use it.
What Is Soil Activator?
A natural soil activator helps the plant’s soil to enrich itself over time. Soil is a unique blend of sand, clay, organic elements, fungi, and bacteria. It also contains growth-inducing chemicals like carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen.
Over time, plants draw in vital nutrients from the soil which reduces the soil’s efficacy.
Why Should You Use a Natural Soil Activator?
Now that you know about a soil activator, let’s move ahead and understand why you should use one.
Earthworm and healthy microbial activity in the soil promote your plants’ growth. Using a soil activator helps to break down organic elements and enriches the soil.
Why should you use a soil activator?
For starters, it can help reduce the thatch build up on your lawn and make the grasses healthy. Clumpy soil and thatch build-up have different solutions other than using soil activator.
Using a soil activator also improves the holistic health of the soil and makes it more fertile and productive. Soil activator for lawn components activates the beneficial microbes by feeding them. It enables healthy fungi and bacteria to multiply faster and makes your soil high yielding. Highly fertile soil boosts your crop’s health.
Any soil’s primary decomposition pathways are either fungi-based or bacteria-based. Bacteria and fungi act as the principal agents to maintain a healthy nutrition cycle.
Your plants share a symbiotic relationship with good bacteria and fungi. These two elements play a crucial role in your plant’s survival and growth by inducing 25% to 30% energy into its roots.
Feeding your soil with good bacteria and fungi is the proven method to augment its productivity. These microbes make your soil nutrient-rich and keep the crops disease-free.
How Does a Soil Activator for Lawn Work?
Most soil activators contain humates and humic acid. Some of them have other substances like compost tea, seaweed, or molasses.
Commercial soil activators are designed to alter the existing microbe level in the soil. They do it either by adding new microbes or boosting the already present microbe communities.
Healthy bacterial or microbial activity significantly increases your plant health. However, soil activators may not inject enough microbes or stimulate the soil’s microbe cycle to make a difference.
A University of Georgia study revealed that the soil activator’s effectiveness largely depends on the ability of specific nematodes and microbes to establish and reproduce successfully after you apply them in the soil.
With time, the organic materials present in the soil start to decompose. Any organic material, when decomposed to its most fundamental elements, is known as humus. Humus is also referred to as humates (scientific name) or humic acid (it’s a by-product).
Humus doesn’t have a built-in nutrient source but can help build sandy and clay soil structure. Humus loosens the hard and compact clay soil and allows your plant’s root to breathe better. Water and nutrients flow smoothly in looser soil, aiding your plants’ overall health. Humus helps sandy soil in water retention and holding vital nutrients longer.
Historically, fungi and bacteria have been associated with root rot and other diseases. Over many years, scientists have made valiant efforts to unearth the truths behind this. They have conducted multiple studies to discover different types of good bacteria and fungi.
The complex activities of these microbes lead to fertile soil and healthy plant production. These microbes break down the large organic matter particles to create beneficial chemicals such as nitrogen. These healthy chemicals speed up your plant’s growth.
Your soil activators may contain kelp and seaweed as well. Both these elements have trace minerals, which helps to boost your plant health when applied. Molasses may also be present in some soil activators. It’s an excellent carbon source, which fuels plants’ growth and naturalizes the cycle of good bacteria and fungi in the soil. Some products may contain additional chlorophyll, which helps your plants convert sunlight into energy atoms by photosynthesizing it.
Soil activators may also include other obscure elements. Over many years, eminent scientists have thoroughly researched most of these ingredients and made revolutionary discoveries on their benefits. Every component can better your soil structure and boost your plant health and growth in the process.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Soil Activator for Lawn?
Soil activators lock the soil’s key nutrients and make them readily available to your crops or plants. The nutrient-locking process is scientifically known as chelation. The entire process augments your plants’ capacity to imbibe the essential metals and chemicals in them.
Soil activators help your plants retain the nutrients derived from inorganic fertilizers. They improve overall soil activity through colloidal action. The improved workability significantly reduces soil erosion and helps disperse particles by making the soil more cohesive.
The soil issues may also be resolved by adding beneficial organic matter like compost using the activators. Applying soil activators on your lawn gives you the immediate benefit of decomposing thatches into vital nutrients for the grass.
Let us now understand the benefits of using a soil activator containing humates or humic acid.
- Soil activator activates the existing nutrients in your soil and makes them readily available to your plants. The entire process has similar effects, like fertilization. The humates’ presence speeds up the root, stem, and overall plant growth and makes the leaves shinier and vividly colored.
- They act as a nutrient organizer by holding and releasing nutrients to your plants’ roots as needed. The slow-release process initiated by humates makes the fertilizer more effective and last longer.
- Humates improve the soil’s water retention capacity and make your plants more drought tolerant.
- Humic acid in soil fertilizer helps loosen the heavily compacted soil and rectifies the poor drainage issues.
- The existence of humates within the soil activator stimulates the soil’s microbial activity and makes your plants healthier.
- They promote the decomposition of thatch and grass clippings, turning them into valuable nutrients for your lawn.
- Having humates in the lawn will enhance the effectiveness of fertilizers right after you apply them. You should use soil activators and fertilizers in tandem to ensure they have a uniform and lasting effect on your lawn.
- Humic acid doesn’t require you to mow your lawn frequently
- They make your lawn’s grasses stronger and withstand damaging pest attacks
- Using a soil activator with humic acid helps in faster germinating and thriving the newly planted seeds
Most of us have a misconception about thatch that it’s terrible for the soil.
On the contrary, about a half-inch or less thatch buildup in your lawn soil can help it withstand sudden temperature changes. A thin layer of thatch insulates the soil and improves airflow in your plant’s roots.
It strengthens the base of your lawn to resist the impact of anyone’s footsteps on the grasses. However, if you let the thatch layer become too thick, it can desiccate the roots in a dry climate and rot them by retaining too much moisture in the monsoon.
Maintaining a steady pH level will resist you from adding nitrogen frequently. It will only need you to dethatch and remove the over build-up periodically. You can apply soil activator in less severe cases to save your time and effort.
How to Use a Soil Activator?
Soil activators are commercially available in different forms. Some are granular, and others are available in liquid form. How you should apply depends entirely on their structure and concentration.
Granular soil activators have around 35% humic acid. Ideally, you should use a rotary spreader to apply such activators at the rate of 10 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.
Liquid ones are usually available in the concentrated or premixed form and cover around 1,000 sq. ft. Read the product label carefully before diluting the solutions in water. The usual proportion is several ounces of liquid formulations in one gallon of water.
Let’s look at the step-by-step application of soil activators:
- Slowly add soil activator to fertigation tank until it’s almost full and has maximum agitation.
- You may encounter occasional blockages if the raw product gets inside the filtration system.
- While spreading, using boom spray requires you to add a 120- or 200-micron mesh screen on the main filter and use a 50 L jet.
- It would be best if you dissolve the soil activator separately while mixing with other elements.
- Add the soil activator as the final ingredient in your solution.
- You should agitate drum contents before using them
Safety Tips when Using a Soil Activator
Before you use a soil activator on your plants, here are some essential safety tips you should know.
- Place the soil activator container away from direct sunlight.
- Keep the formulation away from kids and pets.
- Avoid hand-to-eye contact immediately after using it.
- Seek medical advice as soon as possible if accidentally ingested.
- Consult your vet immediately if your pets swallow and develop any adverse symptoms.
Cleaning Tips After Using a Soil Activator
- Empty the irrigation tanks and spray by using the entire solution.
- Use clean water to purge lines and tanks.
- Flush out the residues from irrigation lines immediately after application.
- Do not refill the original drums with the previous mix.
Frequently Asked Questions About Soil Activator
How should I use a soil activator?
You can use soil activators either in liquid or granular forms. Their application largely depends on their structures and concentration. The best way to apply soil activators on your lawn is by using a rotary spreader.
A rugged rotary spreader can cover up to 1000 square feet of the surface by spraying around 10 lbs of concentrated solutions. However, before using granular or liquid soil activators, read product labels carefully, and follow safety tips.
What should I use to enrich my soil?
I will always vouch for organic or natural ones as their benefits outweigh the side effects. Use organic things like bone meal, humus, cow dung, neem compost, vermicast, animal and vegetable matters, crushed eggshells, and tea bags to improve your soil’s quality.
These elements act as a natural soil activator by pumping the critical nutrients into your plant roots. Alternatively, you can use slow-release granular or chemical fertilizers like 20-20-20 to enrich your soil faster. However, an overdose of chemical injection to your lawn or chemical soil can be fatal for the plants, crops, or lawn grasses. Read the product label thoroughly before applying chemical fertilizers to your plants’ soil.
Why is soil good for plants?
Soil is vital for plants because it holds roots that provide support for plants and store nutrients. I consider soil as the lifeblood of any plant. The soil holds your plants’ roots together, stores nutrients, and evenly distributes them to the roots.
Due to temperature shifts, the soil starts to harden, blocks airflow to the plants’ roots, and eventually suffocates them. You need a potent soil activator to loosen the soil particles and allow your plants’ roots to breathe better.
To make your soil porous, you should use compost, coco peat, garden sand, pebbles, and charcoals. It would be best to use coco peat or sphagnum peat moss as the base instead of regular potting soil while growing indoor plants.
Regular use of soil products revitalizes the soil’s quality by replenishing the depleted components.
Soil activator nourishes your plants’ roots and makes them nutrient-rich. It also favors healthy bacteria growth, induces active carbon, and prevents diseases.