Win a copy of For the Love of Paw Paws this week in the Fruit Trees forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • James Freyr
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
  • Carla Burke
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton

Rock Dust on the cheap!

Posts: 978
Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
hugelkultur forest garden hunting chicken food preservation bee
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Have you been snookered into buying Azomite? Well I was! I think it is a very nice profile but it is around $30 for a 50# bag. I made some calls to various quarries, and most of them will give you their assay of mineral content. This is not a complete profile, but pretty decent. And free!

Since the dust is the least marketable thing they make (it is basically waste from the crusher) generally you can get it under $20 a ton! Some smaller operations will give it to you!

I started this after reading Bryant Redhawk's post on soil, because for many of us with depleted soils this is a major reason for poor growth and plant sickness. This year I am going to use granite dust, the next time around I may need basalt, which has a higher metallic component. I am going to run a complete mineral test every year, but the dust is so cheap you might just want to empirically treat.

Azomite  mineral assay shows it is actually pretty deficient in iron, which has been a problem in some of my beds, while some of the local dusts (both granites by the way) have quite a bit more. One of the companies MSDS shows the basalt around here has much more magnesium and iron. So often there are different available dusts pretty close by. Folks in the red clay areas might want a nice low iron content dust. I have two assays from quarries not more than 10 miles apart in the images and the profiles are totally different!

One other word on these, many times the shipping is more than the dust, so if you have a couple friends who could use 5 tons (it's about a yard of material per ton) you drop your price dramatically by splitting a delivery. There is also a website called rockdustlocal that has done detailed assays on dusts and may be able to hook you up with a good profile, I am sure they charge something for their service, but it might be worth it if you don't know where to start on the quest for super soil.

Happy soil building!

[Thumbnail for boscobel.jpg]
[Thumbnail for powhatan.jpg]
Posts: 2771
Location: West Tennessee
cat purity trees books chicken food preservation cooking building homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Very cool!! Thanks for the info!
Posts: 6284
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Iron is always going to be higher in Igneous rock dust than other types of rock dust.

One of the best profiles I've come across was from a "normal" lava flow that had been put through a hammer mill crusher, the mineral profile was really good, almost as complete as sea water for the majority of higher than trace amount minerals, Fe, Mg, Mn, Co, Cu and many others.

These are the main minerals you can find in magma as it comes out of the volcano. It is also why so many plants do so well in Hawaii, all that soil is based in weathered down lava and so super mineral rich.
Bring me the box labeled "thinking cap" ... and then read this tiny ad:
Heat your home with the twigs that naturally fall of the trees in your yard
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!