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rock dust

 
                                  
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I'm hearing a lot here lately on rock dusts, Azomite, Gaia Green Glacial Rock Dust, remineralization, etc. My question is, how much of these minerals actually get absorbed into the food, and ultimately taken in by the body and put to used, per unit applied to the plants. Or, stated another way, is it worth it? Why not just take a vitamin/mineral supplement?

And, if it IS "worth it", where can I (in northeast mississippi) find it, or will I have to order online and pay crazy shipping costs?

Thanks in advance for responses. I love me some permies!
 
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
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Boondock wrote:

is it worth it? Why not just take a vitamin/mineral supplement?



A multivitamin won't cover the mineral issue, I don't care what they say to sell them.

You would want to take some liquid mineral drops, and add mineral rich foods like molasses, etc. to your diet.

The rock dust must get into plants from the soil, because when applied to soil it improves plant growth.  But to what degree I cannot say.

I buy kelp dust and add it to my animal feed, which ends up all over the soil... and to my garden beds directly, as well as lime, dolomite, and others.

I live on the west coast so I don't know about your area, but hopefully someone from around you will reply soon
 
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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If your soil is deficient in any of the minerals that Azomite  supplies, then it would be worthwhile adding it.  Besides the plants, the worms and other soil microbes need those minerals to work at their best.  It feeds the soil builders as well as it feeds the plants.

Contact the company to find who sells it in your region.  Paying Shipping/Handling on 40 pound bags would be rather ugly I believe.
 
pollinator
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Location: zone 7
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go to your local rock quarry and see what kind of rocks they process. they will often fill your truck up with the "fines" which they dont want 99% of the time and is perfect for your garden for free or cheap. i used to give them 10$ even though they were giving it away. well worth it depending on the rocks they have.
 
Posts: 230
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I have applied some to my veg beds too.
It's of basalt rock. Also added some Granite dust.
The new season will tell if things are growing better.
A simple Pot-test might help.
Mix some of your soil at equal measures compost
add rockdust to some and grow some simple veg in the pots from seed.
Something like lettuce, chard, peppers or even tomato and compare the results.
 
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3 suggestions.
1. your local quarry is a great source for rock dust (just ask for unwashed stone dust), another great source is well drilling operations, the tailings from drilling water wells are super fine rock dust, prefect for the garden.
2. In order to "unlock" the important nutrients from rock dusts you need humic acid or similar, i great way to do this is to mix them into your compost pile while it is in the hot phase. Other ideas would be including it in the bottom layer of a sheet mulch or mixing with smashed up acidic plants (such as sorrel).
3. once you add all those nice micro nutrients make sure you keep them cycling in garden by using plants like comfrey to pull them from deep in the soil to surface again.
 
Maine Aaron
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i had 2 extra thoughts on using rock dust and i thought i'd share them here.
1. Perhaps if you threw some rock dust in a urine catchment system / bucket of piss the acid in the urine would leach some good stuff out of the rock dust, which would then be given to the plants along with the usual NPK of the urine.
2. Putting a layer of biochar under a rock dust layer might help keep nutrients from leaching away to areas where plants wouldn't be able to reach them.
 
Jack Shawburn
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Aaron, From my research I've seen many sites advise to mix
both Biochar and Rockdust into your compost.
Soaking both before mixing into the compost makes sense.
It could cause the bacteria and other beasties latch onto the particles .
I use a mix of Vermicompost, finished compost, kelp and a spoonful of
fish emulsion in the soak.
 
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