Project Description

Black peat is appreciated by growers because of its high water capacity, but not only.

It is an important raw material for propagation substrate also because improve soil fertility in different ways.

Numerous products being sold for turf use as growth enhancers or growth stimulants contain humate or humic acid.In general humates (humic acid, fulvic acid, etc.) can be extracted from any material containing well-decomposed organic matter – soil, coal, composts, etc.

The question is whether the extract obtained will be free of impurities or can it be standardized. Any grower, including from hobby level, will want to know how much active ingredient there is in a given volume that he has bought.

Black Peat is frozen black peat

Black peat is organic component of growing media in all cases. Extracted from the special layers of the peat field and originating from some Latvia peat bogs. It has a dark colour and a heavy weight due to its dense, compact structure. As the Black Peat is frozen normally in winter time, it is still sufficiently able to absorb and drain water. A key property of  Black Peat is that it is heavily decomposed peat, which will not therefore decompose any further during your growing process. Substrates containing a percentage of  Black Peat are therefore very stable.  Black Peat is also used to make substrates heavier, giving them a firmer structure, blocking soil for example.

Physical properties of black peat.

Black Peat has a high buffer capacity for nutrients and can store water for a long period of time. Only naturally frozen black peat finds use in substrate production. Peat that was not frozen would get hard after drying and would not be able to absorb water well.

Black Peat may contain significant amount of natural soil conditioners like humic matter which is often called Peat Humus.

Peat humus is a common potting soil ingredient used for soil enrichment. Unlike Sphagnum peat, which comes from Sphagnum moss and is partially decomposed, peat humus is derived from Hypnum moss and is fully decomposed. Peat humus is also referred to as black peat – it is also dark brown to black in color.

Areapeat uses every kind of peat with its unique characteristics in it’s soils. A combination of two types – black & white or brown is interesting because all the positive characteristics of both types of peat are combined. Black peat like part of substrate and important additive at the same time.

Sample of different raw material proportion

Natural soil conditioner and growing promoter

Main advantages of black peat:

  • Holding capacity of more than 400 times of its own weight

  • Retains both water and nutrients, 30-40% decrease in fertilizer consumption

  • Reduces frequency of irrigation by 50%

  • Improves seed germination and emergence to give plants an early health start

  • Promotes growth of white roots

  • Provides Aeration due to anti caking property

  • Works well both in case of scarcity and excess water condition

  • Restricts Algae and fungal growth

Makes fertilizers and other nutrients more effective by increasing uptake. Phosphorus fertilizers bond with ions of Ca, Mg, Al and Fe present in soil and form inert compounds that are not accessible to plants. Most soils contain large amounts of minerals that plants cannot access.

Repeated field studies have shown that adding humic substances to soil aids in neutralizing the pH levels of both acidic and alkaline soils . Once the soil is neutralized, trace elements formerly bound in the soil and unavailable to plant roots because of alkaline or acidic conditions become accessible. Humic substances also liberate carbon dioxide (CO2) from calcium carbonates already imbedded within soils. The freed CO2. may be taken up by the plant or it may form carbonic acids. The carbonic acids act on soil minerals to release plant nutrients.

Prevents nutrient loss from leaching and helps the soil absorb and hold nutrients. Increases cation exchange in the soil. The electrical features of Humate influence known chemical reactions. Both groups of complex organic acids, humic acids and fulvic acids have been proven to be involved in three specific chemical reactions. These reactions are commonly termed: (1) electrostatic (columbic) attraction (2) complex formation or chelation and (3) water bridging.

Electrostatic attraction of trace minerals reduces leaching into subsoil. The cation is readily available in the soil environment for transport into the plant roots or exchanged for another metal cation.

Electrically charged sites on humic substances function to dissolve and bind trace minerals. This is termed chelation. Evidence for the dissolution of minerals can be supported by x ray diffraction and infrared analysis. Chelation of plant nutrients such as iron (Fe), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), magnesium (Mg), manganese (Mn) and calcium (Ca) reduces their toxicity as cations, prevents their leaching and increases their uptake rate by plant roots.

The chelation process also increases the mass flow of micronutrient mineral elements to the roots.

Reduces the cost of fertilization by reducing the loss from the soil and increases crop yield naturally.

There is no doubt that nitrogen boosts plant growth and of course growth is nothing more than cell production. As new cells form, they look for calcium to help with cell structure and if they cannot find it they take up water instead.

This is why grass generated by heavy applications of urea has no strength and is watery, producing watery excrement. Crops will be the same and drying them out will show this as their size shrinks more than it should.

Urea is also notoriously short acting and, by the end of a week, it absent from the soil and what plants do not take up is lost to the waterways and the atmosphere. Nitrogen, like potassium, is water soluble and easily washed out of the soil.

The presence of humic substances within saline soils (those soils which contain high salt concentrations, e.g. sodium chloride) aid in the transmutation of the sodium ions. The transmutation reactions, a biological process that occurs within living organisms, result in the combining of sodium with a second element, such as oxygen, to form a new element.

Application of humins, humic acids and fulvic acids to saline soils, in combination with specific soil organisms, results in a reduction in the concentration of sodium salts (e.g. NaCI). The reduction is not correlated with a leaching of the salt, rather with an increase in the concentration of other elements. The addition of humic substances to soils containing excessive salts can help reduce the concentration of those salts. By reducing the salt content of a soil its fertility and health can be “brought back” to provide a more desirable environment for plant root growth.

Improves water retention and discourages runoff by improving the tilth of the soil. Humate helps create a desirable soil structure that facilitates water infiltration and helps hold water within the root zone. Because of the large surface area and internal electrical charges, humic substances function as water sponges. These sponge like substances have the ability to hold seven times their volume in water, a greater water holding capacity than sod clays. Water stored within the topsoil when needed, provides a carrier medium for nutrients required by soil organisms and plant roots.

Soils which contain high concentrations of humic substances hold water for crop use during periods of drought. This is why growers who apply Humate based fertilizers and integrate production practices that preserve humic substances, can frequently harvest a crop during periods of dry weather.

Humate help stabilises soil temperatures and slow the rate of water evaporation. The insulating properties of humic substances help maintain a more uniform soil temperature, especially during periods of rapid climatic changes, such as cold spell or heat waves. Because water is bound within the humic substances and humic substances reduce temperatures fluctuations, soil moisture is less likely to be released into the atmosphere.

Increases the porosity of soil. Humate has a very pronounced influence on the growth of plant roots. When humic acids and/or fulvic acids are applied to soil enhancement of root initiation and increased root growth are observed.

Restores the natural balance of microbes.

Root stimulation occurs when the smaller molecular components within fulvic acid occur at concentrations that range from 10 to 100 mg/liter of solution. Growth is further stimulated when fulvic acids are used in combination with humic acids and otheressential plant nutrients.

Whether seeds are coated in our seed mix (50 percent powdered Humate/50 percent seaweed) or dipped in fulvic, humic or liquid Humate, strike rates and growth speed increase.

For improved germination to occur, the humic substances must be present within the cells of seeds. As the humic substance enter the seed cells, respiration rate increases and cell division processes are accelerated. The same respiratory processes enhance root meristem development and activate other growing points within the seedlings. Humic substances have been demonstrated to enhance mitotic activity during cell division under carefully controlled experiments. Placement of these humic substances on seeds (seed treatment) or within the seed furrow will significantly improve seed germination and seedling development.


Fulvic Acids
Humic Acids

A lot of work is required for mire development, especially when it comes to black peat, which is more difficult to access.

Peat sampling from first layers for tests. Latvia. Areapeat