Geohumus FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Questions on the product

  1. What is Geohumus?
  2. How can Geohumus be used?
  3. What is Geohumus made of?
  4. What are polymers?
  5. How is Geohumus made?
  6. Is the production of Geohumus environmentally friendly?
  7. How often can water be absorbed?
  8. What happens to Geohumus at the end of its lifespan, i.e. how does it decompose?
  9. Is Geohumus biodegradable?
  10. How is the product quality of Geohumus managed and supervised?
  11. Why is Geohumus brown?
  12. Why is Geohumus moist?
  13. What advantages does Geohumus offer in addition to water absorption?
  14. How does Geohumus function, i.e. what is the principle of water absorption?
  15. Does Geohumus change after absorbing water?
  16. Does the water storage ability of Geohumus eventually decrease?
  17. What affects the water absorption of Geohumus, and all other super absorbers?
  18. Is Geohumus non-toxic for humans?
  19. Is Geohumus toxic or dangerous for plants or ground water?
  20. Is Geohumus a fertilizer?
  21. What is the pH-value of Geohumus?

 

Question of use

  1. How do I use Geohumus?
  2. What is the recommended dosage?
  3. Can I use the same Geohumus dosage for all plants?
  4. How do I know the right doses of Geohumus with existing plants?
  5. Can I apply Geohumus to existing planted pots?
  6. Is it enough to lightly sprinkle Geohumus on the surface or slightly below the soil surface?
  7. I have bigger potted plants, the surface covered with fine roots, and I don’t want to transplant them. How can I use Geohumus here?
  8. How should Geohumus be stored?
  9. Why don’t I need any or only a small amount of fertilizer with Geohumus?
  10. Can I combine other soil additives with Geohumus?
  11. How can I fertilize my plants if I already used Geohumus?
  12. What precautions must I take when using Geohumus?
  13. Can I use Geohumus with Hydrocultures?
  14. Will the expansion of Geohumus push dirt outside the pot?
  15. Can I also use Geohumus for Bonsai plants?
  16. My Bonsai has wilted leaves. Can Geohumus help?
  17. Several of my myrtles have dried out. Can I use Geohumus for them?
  18. What use is Geohumus when it has been a rainy summer?
  19. Can I also use Geohumus for my camellia and rhododendrons?
  20. Azaleas and camellias do not tolerate any chalk or limestone. Can I still use Geohumus?
  21. Can I also use Geohumus with my orchids?
  22. Can I also use Geohumus with my hydrangea?
  23. What happens to the granulates when they can’t absorb water anymore?
  24. Does Geohumus have a different effect in different soils?
  25. Can the use of Geohumus result in more standing water?
  26. For which use is Geohumus not suitable?
  27. How can I dispose of unused Geohumus?
  28. Can I duplicate the same water storage effect of Geohumus by combining good fibrous peat and clay?
  29. Where can I buy Geohumus?
  30. Can I also use Geohumus for vegetable and fruit plants?

(Kopie 2)

1. What is Geohumus?

Geohumus is a soil additive. The new, patented hybrid material in granulate form stores water and ensures improved plant growth. The earth colored granulate can be used in several ways for yards, landscaping, hobby gardeners, nurseries and agriculture.

Saves watering/minimizes drying out
Geohumus absorbs water provided by rain or irrigation and can store up to 40-times its own weight in water. The loss via seepage, and thus not available to the plants, is sharply reduced. The water is kept in the root area and released as needed.

Balanced release of nutrients and minerals
The plants are continually provided with valuable minerals and micronutrients. Thanks to the ever-present water reservoir, these can easily dissolve to maintain a constant supply of nutrients.
When using fertilizer, Geohumus absorbs the extra nutrients, storing them and prevents them from seeping through.

Improved soil condition due to expansion and shrinkage
At every watering, Geohumus expands while absorbing the water. By releasing the water to the plants, Geohumus granulates shrink again. Thanks to this process, as well as its structure and distribution around the plant, Geohumus loosens the soil.
This improves the soil aeration, and results in a better supply of oxygen to the plants, as well as hindering unnecessary wetness.

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2. In which areas can Geohumus be used?

Since Geohumus provides added value wherever water must be saved and improved plant growth is desired, the areas of application are essentially unlimited. Geohumus can be used for everything from domestic flowerpots to golf courses, playing fields, nurseries, commercial horticulture, landscaped roofs, public green areas and specialized agricultural cultivation.

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3. What is Geohumus made of?

Geohumus is a new-patented hybrid material, combining all the properties of its individual components.

It consists of ca. 25% organic and ca. 75% mineral components. The organic component is a cross-linked, partially neutralized polyacrylic. The mineral components are a mixture of ground rock; minerals and washed sand in a special granulate composition. The ground rock and minerals employed have all already been used for agricultural use.

The organic component is primarily responsible for the absorption of water and nutrients available to the plants. The mineral components continually release a mineral mix, which includes numerous valuable micronutrients. At the same time it also inhibits the building of gelatin during water absorption.

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4. What are polymers?

Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.de) definition: „A polymer [poly-me-r]
(Greek πολύ poly „many“; μέρος méros „parts“) is a chemical compound from chains or branched molecules (macromolecules), composed of the same or similar units, the so-called monomers. The adjective polymer therefore means „built from many similar parts“.

There are basically no health risks from polymers since they do not dissolve in water. As they do not dissolve in solutions, they cannot enter the bloodstream of people or animals and therefore do not react with any bodily compounds (enzymes, hormones, etc.) or penetrate cells.

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5. How is Geohumus made?

Geohumus is a new water-absorbing material, with its composition and production methods both patented.

All the organic and mineral ingredients are first mixed in water. By adding catalysts the polymerization process is started. That produces the network of polymers that capture the suspended solids and water. The end product is slightly elastic and irregularly structured.

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6. Is the production of Geohumus environmentally friendly?

During the production there is no wastewater or ingredients, and only a little packing material. The raw materials are delivered in tanker trucks, containers or sacks, which can all be reused. The most waste at this time is a maximum of 1.5 tons annually of packing materials.

The use of the most modern process controls to control production secures the operation and also a constant quality.
The production is located in Frankfurt am Main, is officially approved and is regularly controlled.

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7. How often can water be absorbed?

The process of absorbing and releasing water can be repeated indefinitely. Over a few years the absorption capacity is reduced, but even after three years Geohumus can still absorb up to 15-times its own weight in water.

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8. What happens to Geohumus when it decomposes?

Geohumus does not leave any harmful substances in the soil. The ground rock is subject to natural mineral decomposition. The organic part decomposes into carbon dioxide CO2 and water. The whole process, depending upon the location, can take 25 to 40 years.

Due to its molecular size, structure and limited dissolvability, Geohumus, similar to other natural biological polymers, e.g. lignin is only slowly decomposed by microorganisms.

Mechanical processing can physically grind up Geohumus granulates, while mushrooms and bacteria decompose the simple molecular parts, followed by mineralization. More complicated molecular parts may also attach to other soil parts and contribute to building the clay-humus complexes. These will be, over time, similar to other plant and animal remains, be integrated into the natural life cycle.

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9. Is Geohumus biodegradable?

Biodegradable means the complete conversion into carbon dioxide, water and biomass. According to German fertilizer regulations, 20% of a substance must be decomposed within two years. That means in the ground and not using the standard test for dissolvable materials.

With Geohumus that is not the case. The decomposition of Geohumus is similar to that of lignin, meaning it decomposes only slowly. If humus decomposed too quickly, no sedimentary layers would build up and there could be no further cultivation.

(Lignin: organic material stored in a plant’s cell wall leading to the cell turning into wood.)

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10. How is the quality of Geohumus controlled and monitored?

Geohumus International produces the Geohumus granulate in its own factory. One must differentiate between three points:

Raw materials
All materials are obtained from established, renowned manufacturers with certified analyses. In addition to that, random samples are also checked in the certified analytical labs of Allessa Chemical.

Synthesis
The factory is completely controlled by a very modern process control system. Deviations in the process are recognized immediately and batches with such deviations are sorted out. This ensures that only the best quality material is used for further processing. All production data is stored.

Final product
The ability to expand and retain water is regularly controlled, ensuring that only proper material is sold. The material is monitored by means of static controls. The analyses are performed in the certified analytical labs of Allessa Chemical according to the certified specifications for super absorber manufacturers. Granulate distribution is monitored using the methods of static quality controls.

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11. Why is Geohumus brown?

The color of Geohumus is determined by the ground rock content, not through dyestuffs. Thus the product is very similar to an earth color. Color variations have no effect on the quality.

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12. Why is Geohumus moist?

Studies have shown that the water absorption by dry Geohumus or similar products is significantly slower than by the moist product. That means, as a result of the slower water absorption, more water seeps through before it can be absorbed by Geohumus on its initial introduction into the soil.

An example: You can test this phenomenon yourself: try to absorb the same amount of moisture with a dry and a moist towel. You can see for yourself that the moist towel absorbs water faster and in greater quantity.

Another important point is the hindrance of dust through the retained water.

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13. What advantages does Geohumus have in addition to retaining water?

In addition to retaining water, using Geohumus offers the following advantages:

  • Due to the ground rock in Geohumus, plants have access to essential minerals and micronutrients. Plant roots find, in the Geohumus granulates, a favorable environment rich with water, oxygen, and nutrients. This setting provides an optimal development and better root growth.
  • Due to the expansion and shrinkage of the granulates, the soil is loosened.
  • Due to the balanced moisture environment and the better aeration, microbes within the soil are aided and soil activity is stimulated.
  • Healthier plants, more and stronger blossoms or fruit, an extended blooming time, and more biomass.
  • Die to its special structure, based on its special production process, soil wetness can be avoided. Along with the absorbed water, the dissolved nutrients are also conserved in the root area and thus are used more efficiently.

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14. How does Geohumus work, i.e. what is the water absorption principle?

Water is stored in the three-dimensional network of polyacrylic acid and ground rock. The cross-linked, partially neutralized polyacrylic acid is primarily responsible for the water storage. The polymer network absorbs water through volume expansion.

Contrary to a sponge, the water is bound in this frame, and cannot be removed via pressure. The osmotic pressure formed by the plant roots suffices to withdraw the stored water from the Geohumus granulate. The process of absorption and release of water can be repeated for several years.

What makes Geohumus unique is that its components are not only physically mixed, but also chemically bound together. Decomposition cannot occur in its use.

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15. Does Geohumus change through the absorption of water?

Through absorbing water, Geohumus changes its volume. This is the same as a balloon in which one continues to blow air.

This also makes Geohumus appear somewhat lighter in color. This is a purely physical phenomenon, since the concentration of solids in the granulate decreases as more water is absorbed. As the concentration lessens, it reflects less light so the granulate appears to be lighter. With less water absorbed, Geohumus again appears darker.

The structure of Geohumus is not changed from this process.

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16. Does the water storage capacity of Geohumus decrease over time?

The water storage capacity slowly decreases over a two-to-three year period and then remains constant at one-third of its starting capacity. Remember that still means a granulate can absorb 15-times its own weight in water.

Geohumus should support the plant in its growth and mature phases, increase the amount of readily available water and give the roots the possibility to absorb both water and nutrients without much effort.

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17. What influences the water absorption of Geohumus, i.e. in general the water absorption of all super absorbers?

The salt concentration in a super absorber affects the osmotic pressure and thus the expansion possibility. The higher the concentration of salt in the surrounding environment, the less expansion of super absorbers. This means, the more salt in the soil, the less water can be absorbed.

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18. Is Geohumus really non-toxic for people?

Geohumus is non-toxic and no hazardous reactions can occur in the soil. Geohumus should not be eaten, since it tastes bad and could possibly expand in the stomach/intestines and function as a laxative.

Geohumus is not a hazardous substance, i.e. non-toxic, non-corrosive, not dangerous to health and not dusty, being completely harmless.

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19. Is Geohumus poisonous or dangerous for plants and living creatures?

Geohumus is non-toxic for soil life, animals and plants, as studies by the German Federal Office of the Environment confirm that:
"On the basis of the close relationship to several natural soil components, especially with humin materials from the decay of plants, synthetic polycarboxylates (also called super absorbers) are largely toxicologically and ecotoxicologically harmless. They contribute neither to the mobilization of heavy metals in the soil, nor do they harm micro-organisms, worms or plant seeds.”

(Source: Research report of the German Federal Office of the Environment, 296 72 03 UBA-FB 98-053)

Linked polymers have been known for more than 30 years. Numerous studies have proven their non-toxic and harmless nature. Polymers (= super absorbers), as used in Geohumus, are also used to protect wounds (Band-Aids) and even inside the body (e.g. tooth cement, hip replacements).

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20. Is Geohumus a fertilizer?

No. According to the German Fertilizer Ordnance, Geohumus is a soil additive, since its primary contents are targeted at the improvement of the soil structure and water storage, with fertilization and/or plant nutrition secondary.
Geohumus delivers important minerals and micronutrients.

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21. What is the pH-value of Geohumus?

The pH-value is between 6.0 and 6.5, thus in the neutral area.

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Questions on use


1. How do I use Geohumus?

House and balcony plants

  1. First put some soil into the pot/planter.

  2. Add some Geohumus and mix it into the soil.

  3. Put in the plant and fill the planter up with the remaining
    soil.

  4. Finally add lots of water so that Geohumus can start absorbing it.

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Trees and bushes

There are different ways to put Geohumus into the soil:

  1. Mix Geohumus into the soil, as before, or
  2. Put Geohumus direct into the planting hole Dig a hole for the plant
    Add the needed amount of Geohumus into the loose soil and mix them both in the hole
  3. Set in the plant
  4. Fill the hole with soil

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Garden and cemetery plantings

There are different ways to put Geohumus into the soil:

  1. Mix Geohumus into the soil, as before, or
  2. Put Geohumus direct into the planting hole
    Dig a hole for the plant
    Add the needed amount of Geohumus into the loose soil and mix them both in the hole
    Set in the plant Fill the hole with soil

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Lawns and sod

  1. Spread Geohumus evenly over the prepared soil – for larger areas we recommend the use of a fertilizer spreader
  2. It needs to be worked into a layer 10 cm (=4 in.) beneath the surface
  3. Before unrolling the sod, the prepared area should be thoroughly watered and then give it time to soak in
  4. Lay the sod and then pack it down
  5. Water thoroughly  

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2. What is the recommended dosage?

 

The dosage of Geohumus must be determined by the local circumstances (type of plant and soil, location, etc.).

Standard recommendation:

Flowerbed/vegetable patch:

approx 300 ml (200 g) je qm

Buckets, hanging pots, containers:

approx 6-9 ml (4-6 g) je cbm

Trees:

approx 6-9 l (4-6 kg) je cbm

Grass/sod:

approx 225-300 ml (150-200 g) per qm

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3. Can I use the same Geohumus dosage for all plants?

With Geohumus you have a flexible response to the requirements of your plants, soil and watering routine.

Use a slightly higher dosage for soil, which has difficulty absorbing water. If your plant requires a lot of water, select a high-quality substrate and mix the Geohumus directly into it.

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4. How can I use Geohumus with existing plants?

For home gardeners, plants can be lifted out of the flower boxes or planting beds and Geohumus put into the root area. The more granulates used in the root area, the better the outcome.

If the plants have shallow roots, you can form circular furrows into the ground using a spade or hoe and then add Geohumus. If you hoe at an angle, several centimeters away from the stem and away from the root ball, you are less likely to damage its root system. If the roots are too compact or lay right at the surface, you should loosen or split the root tangle as it helps the plant grow.

There are machines for professional gardeners that insert the granulates into the root area (e.g. sowing machines). For individual plants and trees there are special injectors which use compressed air to insert granulates into the root area (see www.vogt-baugeraete.de).

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5. Can I apply Geohumus to existing potted plants?

Ideally, Geohumus should be used when repotting your plants. To do this, fill one third of the container with fresh dirt and mix with Geohumus (1 table spoon per liter of soil - see instructions).

If it is not possible to repot the plant, proceed as follows: Try to dig deeper (approx. 8 to 10 cm) to remove the soil around the plant and then put in a layer of Geohumus (one table spoon for every liter of soil) around the plant. Then put the soil back, compact it somewhat, and you're done.

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6. Is it enough to lightly sprinkle Geohumus on the surface or slightly below the soil?

No. The closer you come to the root area, the better the effect of Geohumus in providing moisture and water to the plant. For optimal results, the root system should have access to the granulates.

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7. I have big potted plants, with the surface covered with fine roots, so I don't want to transplant them. How can I use Geohumus here?

Please be careful that you do not damage the root system. Try to dig deeper (approx. 8 to 10 cm) to remove the soil around the plant or make several smaller holes and then put in Geohumus.

Practical tip: To make sure you distribute the Geohumus evenly, you can also use a cone shaped pouring aid (insert at an angle, fill with Geohumus, eventually sprinkle it out and then carefully remove the cone).

If the roots in the planter are too dense and you can barely see any soil or substrate, you should definitely repot - your plant will thank you.

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8. How should Geohumus be stored?

Geohumus is non-flammable, non-combustible and not harmful to the environment.

Geohumus dries in open air when exposed to the sun and becomes harder as a result. This does not impair the product, but the rate of water absorption slows. In addition, when handling the drier, harder product with bare hands, it has sharper edges. We therefore recommend storing it in closed containers. The storage temperature should be kept in the normal range between -20 °C and +40 °C (-4 °F to +104 °F).

The humidity is higher in the container. It increases at higher temperatures and decreases at lower temperatures. If you remove a bucket from a hot area and store it in a cool place, condensed water will collect on the bucket lid, which will be, however, reabsorbed by Geohumus. The same also applies for bags: Direct exposure to the sun should be avoided.

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9. Why don't I need any or only a small amount of fertilizer with Geohumus?

Through the mineral components in Geohumus, minerals and a certain amount of nutrients (except for nitrogen) are continuously released. Above all, Geohumus is well suited for supplying the plants with the required trace elements. Geohumus also contains organic nitrogen.

During fertilization, Geohumus absorbs the fertilizer in a swollen state and then slowly releases it again (see how Geohumus works). Less fertilizer is washed out and therefore you can reduce its use. Geohumus thus prevents unnecessary contamination of groundwater with fertilizer.

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10. Can I combine Geohumus with other soil additives?

The combination with other additives is entirely possible. This is especially true for the combination with mycorrhiza, phytohormones and also compost.
As Geohumus is very similar to humic acids, the addition of such products is not necessary.

(Humic acids are a group of different acids in the soil resulting from the decomposition of once living objects.)

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11. How can I fertilize my plants if I have used Geohumus?

Geohumus already has its own fertilizer effect as it releases minerals and micronutrients to the plants. In addition, it also stores the added fertilizer. This means you can apply 15% less fertilizer than usual.


We recommend organic fertilizers, since these are in general more environmentally friendly. When you fertilize, remember to reduce the amount since Geohumus already has the same effect.

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12. What precautions must I take when using Geohumus?

The use of Geohumus does not require any special measures. Protective clothing is not required. Over- dosage should be avoided.

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13. Can I use Geohumus with Hydrocultures?

Theoretically one could also add Geohumus to the root layer, but we recommend Geohumus be used in a soil-substrate combination.

Note: Switching from using a hydro culture to soil/substrate should only be done with younger plants. The root system of the plants can quickly adapt to the environment and/or the supply of nutrients. Otherwise the roots could quickly rot after such a change (the reverse is just as difficult).

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14. Will the expanding Geohumus push dirt out of the pot?

When Geohumus absorbs water, it expands in volume. Thus one should be careful not to fill plant soil to the top, and also leave a few centimeters for watering.

Tip: Before putting in the Geohumus granulates, douse the required dose with water so they expand first (pour the granulates into a bucket of water and let stand for 20-30 minutes).

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15. Can I also use Geohumus for Bonsai plants?

Generally yes, but Bonsai are very sensitive plants. Therefore pay close attention to make sure the root ball never dries out, but is also not too wet. Otherwise the roots, if they don’t get enough or too much water, could dry up or the leaves may start to wither.

There are also special substrates, which signal via their color when it is time to water again.

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16. My Bonsai has wilted leaves - can Geohumus help?

Not necessarily. Wilted leaves may also be the first sign that the roots are already rotting, that the Bonsai had too much or else too little water, and that the root system can no longer supply water or nutrients to the plant.
The roots can also no longer absorb water and the plant withers. Find a Bonsai specialist.

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17. Several of my myrtles have dried out. Can I use Geohumus for them?

Myrtles react very sensitively to dried roots. When the root ball is completely dried out, this can lead to the plant dying within a few hours. In nature, myrtles adjust to this and its roots burrow deep into the earth. Unfortunately that cannot happen in a planting pot. Therefore one cannot water too often (avoid soil moisture) nor too little (avoid dry roots).

This is where Geohumus can help. It can store a great amount of water and then release it to the roots, without causing the plant itself to become waterlogged.

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18. What use is Geohumus when it’s a rainy summer?

There are always some weeks in the year when, thanks to the rain, you don’t have to water your plants. Sometimes, however, the moisture only reaches the surface but not down to the root area.

Another characteristic of Geohumus supports plant growth even when it rains: thanks to the ground rock contained in Geohumus, necessary minerals and micronutrients are also available. Through the expansion and shrinkage of the granulates, the soil is naturally loosened.

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19. Can I also use Geohumus for my camellia and rhododendrons?

Camellias and rhododendrons both have shallow roots and require water year-round. Geohumus is therefore best suited for these plants.

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20. Azaleas and camellias do not tolerate any chalk or limestone. Can I still use Geohumus?

Yes. Geohumus doesn’t affect the pH-value of the soil and also doesn’t release any limestone. Just the opposite, it binds calcium and helps remove some from the soil, which is very advantageous for azaleas and camellias.

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21. Can I also use Geohumus with my orchids?

Orchids live in nature as epiphytes, which grow on branches or twigs, want as much light as possible, but no direct sun. The roots grow along the branch’s bark, cling and find a moist mould, and then the roots absorb its moisture.

After the daily rain shower at certain times of year the roots dry out again. If that doesn’t happen, the plant suffers, and a (deadly) fungal decay may result. The roots also don’t like water over an extended period.

In nurseries you may find many different types that imitate this lifestyle. For example, some kinds of orchids are tied to branch pieces. These plants must be sprayed daily, so that its roots, which grow along the branch, stay wet. The spray water is also mixed with a very diluted fertilizer mix.

Standard retail orchids are sold in pots with a special orchid substrate (mixture of usually rough pieces of bark).

When you use Geohumus, make sure you use only one-half teaspoon per plant. In this way, the substrate can also dry out at times. Otherwise the roots might rot.

Tip: Dip the plant into water and then let the surplus drain away. There is now once again enough water to evaporate.

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22. Can I also use Geohumus with my hydrangea?

When the granulates have absorbed their maximum amount of water, the rest will seep through. Tip: Please make sure the underlying soil is porous enough so the extra water can seep through.

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23. What happens to the granulates when they can’t absorb water anymore?

When the granulates have absorbed their maximum amount of water, the rest will seep through. Tip: Please make sure the underlying soil is porous enough so the extra water can seep through.

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24. Does Geohumus have a different effect in different soils?

Every soil has a different structure and therefore different properties:


25. Can the use of Geohumus result in standing water?

The use of Geohumus cannot result in soil wetness, especially in planters. When Geohumus has absorbed its maximum amount of water, drainage is then unaffected by the swollen granulates. Geohumus does not build a blocking layer for water, i.e. infiltration of the soil is not negatively affected.
Please make sure that water can drain easily from the planters.

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26. For which use is Geohumus not suitable?

Geohumus, especially for plants that thrive in arid soil, is not especially helpful (e.g. for steppe plants, including tulips, lilies, etc).

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27. How can I dispose of unused Geohumus?

Geohumus or soil containing Geohumus can, when not usable elsewhere, be disposed of with the regular household garbage.

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28. Can I duplicate the same water storage effect of Geohumus by combining good fibrous peat and clay?

When comparing the water storage capacity of a good peat and clay mixture to peat mixed with Geohumus, no major differences can be measured.

Fact: If you measure only the water capacity and not the aeration in various stages of irrigation and culture, one arrives at similar results. The advantage of Geohumus is that, with a small amount of Geohumus, used with materials that naturally decompose, it secures continuous aeration along with sufficient water absorption capacity. The expansion and shrinkage of the material loosens the soil. The peat mixture decomposes over time.

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29. Where can I buy Geohumus?

 

Geohumus can be found in landscaping centers, garden centers, do-it-yourself centers, hardware stores, wholesale dealers and online shops. On our website you can locate the sales center closest to you. If there is none, you may also order directly via our online shop.

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30. Can Geohumus also be used for vegetable and fruit plants?

Since Geohumus is completely harmless, it can also be used without worry on all vegetable and fruit gardens.

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