The Dirt on Our New Fert

At Quality Care, we’ve long known that healthy lawns start with healthy soils. Soil alive with microbial activity and rich in organic matter makes the nutrients existing in that soil and in fertilizer we apply more available for use by your lawn. This summer, we are excited to announce a new product that we’ll be using for our Lawn Health Care programs – a product that combines the benefit of soil conditioner, organic filler material, and slow release nitrogen. That means the amount of supplemental nutrients applied can be reduced, grass plants are greener over a longer period of time, and long term health and durability is improved. This fertilizer is exclusive to Quality Care, and we’ll be using it for all our Summer and Late Summer Lawn Health Care applications.

The following information is provided by The Andersons, makers of our new fertilizer.


There are many types of controlled-release or enhanced efficiency nitrogen products available that provide the single benefit of potentially improving the utilization of applied nitrogen. Enhanced efficiency fertilizer products use several different methods to impact the release of nutrients. Some enhanced efficiency fertilizers use physical coatings such as polymers and/or sulfur to slow the release of nitrogen. Other enhanced efficiency fertilizers use additives to suppress chemical and/or biological conversions of nitrogen compounds in the soil.

HCU granules are different by design.
They utilize urea-humate fusion technology which bonds a uniform coating of potassium humate over a urea granule. This coating does not act as a physical barrier to slow nitrogen release, but works synergistically with urea to promote and enhance soil biology. 

HCU granules contain beneficial fulvic and humic acids that provide a rich carbon source for maintaining and improving soil biology. Fulvic and humic acids have numerous proven benefits for soil and plant health which include:

  • enhanced nutrient efficiency
  • enhanced micronutrient uptake
  • enhanced soil nutrient holding capacity
  • enhanced biological activity
  • enhanced water holding capacity

Both fulvic and humic acids have unique physical and chemical properties that contribute to their effectiveness and the way they complement fertilizer programs.


Humic substances are recognized by most soil scientists and agronomists as the most important component of a healthy, fertile soil.

Pettit, R.E. 2004. Organic Matter, Humus, Humate, Humic Acid, Fulvic Acid and Humin: Their Importance in Soil Fertility and Plant Health.

Humic acid provides a carbon food source which stimulates soil microbiology. Carbon is an essential plant nutrient that provides a carbon food source and habitat. Microbes support soil and overall plant health by making nutrients available to plants in the inorganic form. Humic acid is a primary food source to grow populations of beneficial soil fungi, including mycorrhizal fungi.

The complex structure of humic acids enables many opporunities for interactions with nutrients. These interactions keep nutrients accessible to the growing plants and prevent leaching or tie up. Humic acid is an environmentally sustainable addition to your nutrition program, as it allows the same quality and color to be enjoyed while applying less nutrients – BLACK IS THE NEW GREEN. Humic acids also increase the availability of micronutrients to the plant. Larger molecules of humic acids physically modify soil structure which increases soil aggregate stability, improves water infiltration, nutrient holding capacity, aeration, soil tilth, and workability.


The “magic” in Humic DG and Black Gypsum DG is the dispersing granule (DG) technology, which serves to enhance humate distribution. Upon contact with water, each DG granule disperses into thousands of micro particles, which move directly into the root zone and begin working to improve the health and quality of your turf, crop, or plant.


Humic Acid Precursor (Plant Based Carbon) + Humate (Bio-Organic Based Carbon)

Humic DG & Black Gypsum DG contain two forms of organic carbon available to the plant; a plant derived carbon source and a bio-organic derived source. Together, these two sources of organic carbon have been shown to increase soil carbon, chelate macro and micro nutrients, increase CEC and stimulate beneficial soil biology. All other competitive dry humates and powders contain a single bio-organic based carbon source.

Humic DG & Black Gypsum DG positively affect the availability of fluvic acid in the short term, and allow longer term activity in chelation and soil chemistry versus liquid humate products. All humic substances found in Humic DG & Black Gypsum DG are crop available within the growing season.

Humic Acid Precursor (Plant Based Carbon)

Humic acid precursor contains a soluble form of organic carbon which releases into the soil as Humic DG & Black Gypsum DG disperse. Research has shown that organic carbon holds nitrogen in the soil and binds readily with carbon based acids. This increases the amount of dissolved organic carbon in the soil water.

Through biochemical reactions, humic acid precursor is transformed into humic and fulvic acids which help chelate nutrients in the soil. This enhances plant nutrient uptake of applied fertilizers and soil nutrients.

Black Gypsum DG

Featuring the same dual carbon sources that make Humic DG unique, Black Gypsum DG is a unique bio-amendment that combines natural gypsum and humic substances in one, homogenous prill.

Containing a combination of gypsum, humate and humic acid precursor, Black Gypsum DG delivers calcium, sulfur and humate (a rich source of carbon) directly to the soil utilizing our dispersing granule (DG) technology.

The gypsum found in Black Gypsum DG is naturally chelated, supplying calcium without changing soil pH, and adding sulfur where needed. Acting as a soil conditioner, gypsum loosens hard packed soils and enhances the flushing of harmful salts and excess sodium.

Like Humic DG, Black Gypsum DG contains dual carbon sources: humic acid precursor (plant based carbon) and humate (bio-organic based carbon). Humic acid precursor is transformed into humic and fulvic acids, helping to chelate nutrients in the soil. Humates works to prolong humic acid soil activity and to help stimulate soil microbes and biologic activity within the plant. Humates also act as a chelating agent for micronutrients, enhancing the utilization and efficiency of applied and existing nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus.

Upon contact with water, DG technology breaks down each Black Gypsum DG granule into thousands of micro particles. These micro particles self-incorporate into the soil, moving gypsum and humic acid directly into the plant root zone and providing immediate benefits to both the soil and plant.

Black Gypsum DG provides the following benefits:

  • Increases calcium and sulfur without changing soil pH
  • Enhances efficiency of applied and existing nutrients
  • Increases soil CEC and tilth
  • Reduces soil salinity
  • Reduces thatch and stalk residue

Why Black Gypsum DG Over Other Types of Standard Gypsum?
Our gypsum source is calcium sulfate di-hydrate (CaSO4·2H2O), which, with two extra water molecules, is more water soluble than the anhydrite form (CaSO4). These extra molecules make calcium and sulfur more quickly available to the plant – as soon as Black Gypsum DG enters the soil solution.

While a plant receiving the anhydrite form of calcium would be forced to wait days or weeks to take advantage of the applied nutrients, a plant receiving a Black Gypsum DG application begins to utilize the nutrients in hours, thanks to the di-hydrate calcium and our dispersing granule (DG) technology.

Black Gypsum DG delivers 21% humic acid delivered in every application. This humate is quick acting, and provides further chelation of applied and existing nutrients, increasing their availability to the plant.

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