The benefits of using rock dust in soil

 

Firstly let me say that Basalt rock dust is not a fertiliser. It is not a fertiliser because it lacks the qualifying levels of Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorous.

 

Typical composition table of rock dust

Element

Unit


calcium

 %w/w

6.44

iron

 %w/w

10.5

magnesium

 %w/w

6.54

sulfur

 %w/w

0.21

potassium

 %w/w

1.25

phosphorus

mg/kg

3030

cobalt

mg/kg

35

copper

mg/kg

43

manganese

mg/kg

790

molybdenum

mg/kg

<5

zinc

mg/kg

92

silicon

 %w/w

21.6


Basalt is a common volcanic rock formed from the rapid cooling of basaltic lava exposed at or very near the surface of our planet, and it consists of finely crushed rock, processed by natural or mechanical means which contains minerals and trace elements widely used in organic farming practices.

 

Benefits of using Basalt rock dust

Boosts organic soil fertility
Can create bigger, healthier crops, with better flavour and a longer shelf life

Increases nutritional value
Improves pest-resistance
Creates lusher lawns
Improves drought resistance

 

When you purchase Basalt rock dust it will be a dark grey to black colour which (when added to soil) rapidly weathers to brown or rust-red due to oxidation of its iron-rich minerals but rapidly weathers to brown or rust-red due to oxidation of its iron-rich minerals into rust.

 

However, basaltic rocks exhibit a wide range of shading due to regional geochemical processes, so when crushed the resulting dust may well be another colour entirely - possibly a light tan, but it has the same make up as dark Basalt.

 

We hear and read lots about the importance of organic farming methods to replenish the soil with nutrients which are lost over time, and adding compost to garden soil, for example, can replenish some of these nutrients.

That is all well and good and is a recognised thing to do but these days the re-mineralisation of the soil, which until recently had not been seriously considered, is becoming known as a necessary step to reintroduce vital minerals and trace elements into our soil.

This is because these same minerals and trace elements are farmed out of the soil which results in less productive crops and less nutritional food.

One example offered is the apple: "Extensive over cultivation of our agricultural soils, especially through industrial agriculture, has led to a highly mineral-deficient diet. The truth is our soils are so deficient that, on average, you would need to eat five apples today to equal the nutrition of one apple in 1965." That is a direct quote from Joanna Campe, president of Remineralize the Earth who most certainly knows a thing or two about this subject.