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Create your own Fulvic acid


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Was doing some research on Fulvic acid tonight and stumbled across an interesting bit of information. You can actually make your own Fulvic acid using just white vinegar and peat moss!


Grab 500g of peat moss

Add it to 1.5L of white vinegar

Leave the solution for 2 days

Strain out the composted peat moss

Use at a dilution rate of 1ml per liter of solution


I assume will not be as pure as the fulvic acid you can buy in shops (if its made correctly anyway), however it should will be plenty good for gardening purposes as long as your vinegar contains only CH3CO2H + water !


Have not tried this myself, so you might just want to test on an unimportant plant in the garden before using it on your babies! However i do plan to try this out for myself at some stage for my own testing purposes, ill report back when i get around to this.


Here is what wikipedia has to say of the use of Fulvic acid in horticulture:


Ecological effects


Organic matter soil amendments have been known by farmers to be beneficial to plant growth for longer than recorded history.[8] However, the chemistry and function of the organic matter have been a subject of controversy since humans began their postulating about it in the 18th century. Until the time of Liebig, it was supposed that humus was used directly by plants, but, after Liebig had shown that plant growth depends upon inorganic compounds, many soil scientists held the view that organic matter was useful for fertility only as it was broken down with the release of its constituent nutrient elements into inorganic forms. At the present time, soil scientists hold a more holistic view and at least recognize that humus influences soil fertility through its effect on the water-holding capacity of the soil. Also, since plants have been shown to absorb and translocate the complex organic molecules of systemic insecticides, they can no longer discredit the idea that plants may be able to absorb the soluble forms of humus;[9] this may in fact be an essential process for the uptake of otherwise insoluble iron oxides.



I stumbled across this information in a post in another forum here is the original post:

95% of fulvic products, usually potassium fulvate are not what you think they are. Anyone who talks about a super concentrate is a salesman. Pure fulvic will read ppm the only thing that won't is pure water. Humic acid and fulvic acid are the two main organic acids extracted from humic substances. Humin is another but is of no use in hydroponics as it is completely insoluble. When people talk about solubility of humic and fulvic this is not actually correct. they form what are called colloidal suspensions. Commercially they are extracted from brown coal also called low grade coal or lignite, preferably from a brown coal called leonardite which is more soluble because it is more oxidised and the average oxygen and functional group content is higher. They are also extracted from peat, leonardite is high in humic and low in fulvic generally and peat in comparison has a higher fulvic content and lower humic content. I won't go into the details of extraction and isolation but basically potassium hydroxide is used to get the soluble humic substances into solution and then the humic acid is precipitated to separate it from the soluble fulvic. An array of different additives are used to increase the effiancy of extraction and are usually dependant on the source material of the humic matter.


I have worked on humic substances for 15 years consulting all over the world inc. Europe, Russia and China. If you want to make your own home made fulvic the easiest way is to buy some peat, and add about 1.5 litres of vinegar to 500g of peat. Mix well and leave for a couple of days or more. Strain out the peat and your done. If you have a highly decomposed compost this will work as well especially if you have added microbes to your compost.


(Gchem, gardenweb.com, April 26 2011)




As always discussion on fulvic acid and this technique is welcome !

Edited by Bento
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Thanks for the peer reviewed articles, seems like fulvic acid is some good stuff !





Solution and sand culture studies have demonstrated that soluble derivatives of humic

substances will increase length and fresh and/or dry weights of shoots and roots, number of

lateral roots, root initiation, seedling growth after germination, nutrient availability and nutrient

uptake. These substances also affect a wide range of enzymatic processes.

Field trials and soil pot studies have also demonstrated these effects using oxidized lignite or

derivatives of humic substances. The difference is that less of this type of research has been


Additions of oxidized lignite to soils with low humic content may help to increase aggregate

stability and available water capacity.

Recent research data has increased our understanding of the role of humic substances play in

nitrate uptake by plants.

A limited amount of research exists on specific effects of oxidized lignites or derivatives of humic

substances on plant drought tolerance, water use efficiency, and enhancement of soil microbial


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