Granite Dust

Gregory EleserFebruary 21, 2006

Does anyone in the Alpharetta, GA area know of a good source for granite and or other rock dusts? These are to be used as fertilizer sources.



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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)

Your local nursery might carry Azomite? See Link below. Its a Utah clay with 67 trace elements. I use it all the time for new beds in our landscape business.


Here is a link that might be useful: Azomite

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 1:32AM
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I don't know if it's available locally, however this is product that I would highly recommend, even if it's cost more to ship than to purchase. It's a Malcolm Beck invention, Volcanite.

Here is a link that might be useful: Volcanite

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 8:25AM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

Can someone tell me granite dust is used for ?

It doesn't disolve..

From the Granite State

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 6:39PM
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Granite dust is often sold as a "slowly available" potash source for organic production. Total potash contents in granite dust typically vary from 1 to 5%, depending on overall mineral composition of the rock, but granite is mostly feldspar, a mineral with low solubility. Therefore, little potash fertility is derived from this material.


Here is a link that might be useful: ATTRA

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 8:05PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Can someone tell me granite dust is used for ?
It doesn't disolve..

I'll give you a couple of theories.

Theory 1: Granite is a relatively rough (not smooth like sand) particle. Being rough it has lots of crevasses and corners for microbes to hide and grow.

Theory 2: Granite is composed of many tightly bound minerals. Some of those minerals are not particularly abundant in the soil and can be in short supply for the plants. Plants and microbes give off CO2 underground. When the CO2 meets moisture, carbonic acid is formed. Carbonic acid is a weak acid, in fact it is weak enough to drink in every soda can/bottle; however, it is strong enough to dissolve minerals in the trace quantities used by plants.

Theory 3: I almost hate to bring this up. There is an electromagnetic feature that has been dubbed, 'paramagnetism.' There is even a device that measures paramagnetism. The claim is made that a paramagnetic materials in the vicinity of a non-paramagnetic material promotes plant growth. PLEASE remember, I'm just the messenger here. Materials that have been heated to a very high temperature are more paramagnetic than materials that have not. Granite, being an igneous rock formed under great heat, has paramagnetic properties. Basalt also is highly paramagnetic. Volcanite is made from basalt, greensand, and lava sand (if I recall correctly). Lest you believe this property is hocum, I have seen the machine in action measuring materials for their paramagnetic properties. It is a real effect. Whether it has any effect on plant growth is where the hocum comes in. I've tried it in a relatively well done experiment, and it didn't do anything for me. I planted five radish seeds in each of 8 containers. 6 containers had the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 teaspoons of Volcanite. I watered them all as needed. I ended the experiment when the radishes were ready to eat. I pulled the radishes from each pot, photographed them, weighed them, and wrote all that down. I saw no difference in growth, root formation, or plant mass among the 8 pots. I got the pots, soil, and Volcanite from Malcolm Beck and performed the experiment as per his direction. His suggestion after I reported my results was to add compost to the soil in the pots and try again. I never did.

I prefer both theories 1 and 2 above.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 8:20PM
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pablo_nh(z4/5 NH)

dchall- thanks for the warning that you're just the messenger on the paramagnetism theory. You know enough to tread very carefully when speaking of phlogiston, crystal power, and "oxygenated water" (shudder), and you will therefore not be electronically crushed like a recyclable Coke can :)

-pH- science dude

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 8:51PM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

I live about 3 miles from Stone pit, How many tons of stone dust do you want, you the pay the delivery charges.. Prolly 20 tons min, A guess is $2 a loaded mile for about 1,000 miles, or come and get it. My guess is they won't disolve in your lifetime

Wood ash would be a cheaper, lighter form of potash, Or if your very apeeling, banana peels.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rocks

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 5:08PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Shoot, that's limestone. I live 2 blocks from the limestone pit and they were coming my direction when they closed down early in the last century.

By the way, limestone has no paramagnetic properties. It is a flat zero on the meter. Crushed toilet tanks, interestingly, measure up around 1,000 on the meter. A really good basalt measures up around 4,000. Anything measuring higher than 800 is considered good enough to package and sell.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 6:17PM
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dchall, can you give me some info on soil food web students under Dr Elaine Ingham?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 2:58PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Dr Ingham's website is

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 11:42AM
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Thank you dchall. I misunderstood. I was looking for courses on the web from Ingham. It turns out to be 'soil food web student' rather than student classes on soil food on the web.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 1:42PM
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Fertrel is a good source for granite dust. Its best use is to remineralize the soil. It contains most of the table of elements after all. It's cheaper than kelp meal, which similarly has most of the table of elements, but in an organic matrix -- which is better. The above assumes that the number of minerals essential for plant growth is not 17, as in Biology 101, but more like 77 (or some other large number) -- because plants evolved with them and used what was to hand. Regards, Peter.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 6:16PM
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railroadrabbit(7b - Atlanta)

According to the US Geological Survey, a granite sample from Rhode Island contained 53 elements. Most are trace elements. Silicon dioxide is the major component. see:
The elements can vary from quarry to quarry giving a range of coloration including various grays, pink, and green.

There's a huge 600 acre granite quarry on Beaver Ruin Road near I-85 in Gwinnett Co. I think Vulcan Materials owns it.

Vulcan also has quarries in Cherokee Co. and Kennesaw and several other locations around Atlanta.

Click the link below or look in the yellow pages for rock, gravel, granite, etc.

Vulcan at one time would deliver. Otherwise, If you know someone with a dump truck . . . or you can look in the Yellow pages for hauling. in Lawrenceville sells Gran-I-Grit 50 lb. bag for about $6.

From what I understand, the finer dust is superior to the sand for elemental availability. The dust can be almost like portland cement in texture--smooth, silky and dusty.

Check with a monument company or a granite countertop fabricator in your area. They cut granite with a wet saw producing a fine dust that they often throw in the dumpster. Usually the saw cuts with a diamond blade. Take a bucket and they'll probably give you the sludge from their saw. Just make sure they don't give you dust from cutting or polishing with grit containing aluminum.

Granite dust is about 3-5% potassium, but I read somewhere that it takes about a hundred years to release the potassium into the soil. Some of the trace minerals, though supposedly leech out of it more quickly.

Thirty years ago my Dad had red clay where his garden is today. He would plow it, plant a garden, and by the time he plowed it in the fall it would be hard as a brick again.

He had several cu. yds. of grainite dust delivered from a local quarry. The delivery truck spilled a little of it on his grass as it pulled away from the garden. He had a stripe of the greenest (almost blue) fescue grass I've ever seen. I don't know what made the grass turn so green, but something became more available to the roots because of the granite dust. Did it stimulate some sort of microorganisms? Is that good or bad? Hmmmmmm.

The granite dust helped loosen the clay in the garden. He has also plowed in compost, leaf mold, manure crops, and all sorts of organic material through the years. The soil doesn't even have the red color now.

Here is a link that might be useful: Find a Quarry

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 6:16AM
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railroadrabbit(7b - Atlanta)

>Does anyone in the Alpharetta, GA area
>know of a good source for granite and
>or other rock dusts?

I found granite sand/dust mix sold in 1/2 cu. ft. bags $2.64 at Lowes under brand name "Garden Plus" Patio/Paver Base, product SKU # 100166. It was by the precast stepping stones and pavers in the garden dept. It has particles from dust to 1/4 inch flakes.

This sort of thing varies by region. There are many granite quaries in the Southeast, so paver base here is granite. Someone else said their Lowes sells limestone paver base.

It seems that if I ask for something unusual, some of the people at my local Lowes say they don't have it. If I give them the SKU # they look it up on the computer and can sometimes find things for me.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 4:38PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

As I understand it paramagnetism is on a small scale, when paramagnetic materials align thats how magentism is materialized (excepting that that is formed by nuclear chain reactions). O2 in its liquid form is highly paramagnetic, but it cannot be aligned easily and so it never forms a magnetic field.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 4:40AM
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RRR, how would you rate the soils in the greater atlanta area, overall? In regard to native fertility, water and nutrient holding capacity?

In continual search for my eventual homestead.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 7:52AM
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Call Green Brothers there in Alpharetta 770-Top-Soil. They carry it in bulk.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 11:32AM
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My county agent sent me this link because I have been asking him about granite dust as a source of phosphorus. Having read both sides in various places I decided to test it on my own. When taking soil samples for spring I dug under a pile of granite dust that had been near my house for several years so see how much, if any, phosphorus had leached into the soil beneath. I was careful to exclude any granite dust from the sample. My fields are seriously depleted in both potassium and phosphorus from cotton/pine plantings over the years. The sample under the granite heap had over three times the phosphorus that all other fields had - almost up to the necessary level for planting. Our farm is just south of Elberton, GA - "The Granite Capitol of the World" - so granite screenings are available and relatively cheap. Now if only I can find a cheap and organic source of potassium, but that's another thread.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 4:56PM
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Switch "potassium" and "phosphorus" in my previous post. I always switch them if I'm not careful.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 4:32PM
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Most communities have a granite countertop fabricator like . Once a week they shovel out their drainage trenches. They call is sludge while it's wet, but it dries into granite dust.

Here is a link that might be useful: granite dust source

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 8:20PM
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tommyrocks 113,
We have a similar company here that cuts granite using high pressure water, but I've been told that the resulting granite dust has 18% aluminum in it. I've collected granite dust from a local monument cutting and engraving company and applied it to my garden only to find that the zinc level rose sharply in my soil test. I then checked out the engraving company's source of abrasive material to cut the granite and learned that the abrasive has a high content of zinc in it. I'm looking for another source of granite dust.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 10:05PM
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You might want to try a high pottassium Clinoptilolite. This is a natural zeolite (See ATTRA) that can be used in the compost to retain some of the nutrients that leach out or disperse into the air. I have tested pottassium feldspar ("granite dust") with good results. But one test, using 15% zeolite I had a biomass increase of +80%. It is amazing that many gardeners have never heard of it.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 5:58PM
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I use what Fertrell calls "granite meal". I use it, as well as kelp meal, as a source of micro-nutrients -- not that I have any idea how much to use. I assume this is granite dust. I can apply the half-dozen micr-nutrients that are in my soil test individually and measured. But I use granite meal in the hopes that it includes all the other minerals that agricultral science has yet to discover are micro-nutrients. (My thinking is that since plants co-evolved with soil, they use most of what's in it.)Is my idea about the composition of granite meal/dust an illusion? Regards, Peter.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 7:37PM
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hi i want more detail for granite dust

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 12:36PM
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geleser, I don't know if this is what you're looking for? . When you do a search use the words "Decomposed Granite", I got some originally for my bonsai trees to add as gravel but now I have sifted out the dust to use for all my plants.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 4:37PM
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In florida I have been getting super-fine granite dust for nothing from a countertop fabricator shop that has vacuum collection, so it's just a matter of picking up the bags. The granite for tops these days is mostly all from Brazil.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 7:55AM
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I know you asked this question 7 years ago, but the answer is any rock quarry around Alpharetta will have granite dust. The last I bought was $12/ton. Take a pickup truck and a wheel barrow tray and they will probably give you the wheel barrow tray full. Apply at rate of 0.1 in depth per square foot of garden bed. That much is approximately 1.2 lb per square foot of actual growing space. A shovel full is about 15 lb. I garden in 50 sq. foot raised beds and I use about 10 shovels per bed. Oh, yeah, it lasts for about 10 years.

Ellijay, GA

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 2:21PM
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