Is anyone using rock dust in the garden?

kngskid(Georgia zone 7b)March 7, 2011

I learned about rock dust a few days ago and I want to know if it will makes my sugar snap peas sweeter? I planted sugar snaps in 2009 and 2010 and they tasted like grass, at least what I imagined grass would taste like. If you are currently use rock dust in the garden or have used it in the past, pls share your experience?

Thank you

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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Yes. I use rock dust. No, I don't find it makes anything taste any different. It is supposed to do two things. First it is supposed to help add nutrients to food, I can not test that myself.
2nd it is either a bit grainy or finely powdered (your choice, depends on the dust you use and how it is screened) and it works to create a symbiotic relationship with the organic matter in the soil which is breaking down. Several farmers in the area I know now use it. It is a component of the fertilizer I make, and in my seed blocking mix. I use granite dust ever few years (I have raised wooden beds so I don't need it very often), and azomite is in the fertilizer. I also like green sand but I don't use much of it, you can overdo green sand so it just goes in the blocking mix which gets transplanted into the garden. So far I have not noticed a huge difference at all in food taste, but I find all my homegrown food tastes pretty good anyway (to me, we don't eat much else). Last year I did not have good peas, the year before my peas were phenomenal (Mammoth Melting). Did you add lime?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 1:42PM
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kngskid(Georgia zone 7b)

I have not added lime, do you think adding some would help?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 9:00PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I think it might make a world of difference. Lime helps loosen up all manner of other minerals in the soil, it lowers the PH of a high PH soil. You can get a PH test kit at the hardware store. A single use kit is about $2.00

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 11:00PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Soil is actually rock dust. I mean pure soil, not organic maters. GA red clay, e.g., comes from red rocks. Rocks are, therefore good source of minerals.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 6:19AM
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hamchuk(z6b NC mtns)

Lime will actually make your soil more alkaline - raising your pH. Adding lime when your soil pH is already high will actually bind up more necessary nutrients in the soil where your plants can't access them.

Granite dust is just an extremely slow release form of potassium, almost too slow to make much difference.

Green sand is a better ingredient, as it adds a range of trace minerals due to it's marine origin. In terms of rock dust, it's a better additive.

Azomite is best used for preventing alfatoxin-induced illness in livestock. There is very little scientific support for it's use in improving soils.

I'd recommend sending your soil off for a real soil test to your local county extension, and following their amendment recommendations. Unfortunately the cheap tests from the stores aren't very reliable, and they don't give you much information about your soil.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 10:37PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

hamchuck, you are pretty much just confusing the heck out of me.

Azomite does have some scientific support to show that it remineralizes soils. Greensand can be overused, it should be used in moderation. Granite dust does indeed work very slowly, which is why it is a fantastic element to add to soil. Just like most rocks which gradually break down in soil releasing their minerals, so does granite. It is also excellent for increasing drainage, and it is cheap.
Not all counties in Georgia have operative extensions, so getting a soil test from the store may be all that people have access to.
Where did you get your information about lime and soil binding. It is not accurate.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 11:38PM
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Where in the Atlanta area can I purchase rock dust?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 6:30AM
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I purchased azomite online. You can find it on amazon, ebay, many gardening shops, etc. Unfortunately it is heavy stuff and a 44 pound bag is usually around 60-75 green paper thingies (dollars haha). Just search the web and try to find the best deal you can find.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 2:18AM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Sorry I didn't see this earlier. You can buy indigenous granite dust at some stone suppliers. You are looking for a fairly fine grit though, but lots of local farmers use it, so it's around.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 8:55AM
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Haven't used granite dust as hubby is mason and had lots of granite sand left overs sooo into the garden it went...seems to be doing a great is approx 10yrs old, Took lots of yearly amendments to get going from clay, rock etc but now looks like MO river bottom soil <: soil sample showed and recommended gypsum granules not lime...the k factor was bit low but that it...>

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 10:27AM
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I don't know about being green, but if you raise and eat hi brix home grown vegetables and can, dry, freeze them also, you will be healthy also....this alone would fix nations health for healthy water, and get some sunshine everyday when possible...the indian

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 10:39PM
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    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 11:09PM
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4SEASONca(Western NC 6)

I have been trying to find rock dust for weeks. I've inquired at quarrys and all they have is sand which is not rock dust. It was pass through 200 screen in order for the microbes to be able to eat it. NO one seems to know precisely where you either buy it from a garden outlet or quarry.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2014 at 11:58AM
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Go to and they have a location finder. Most southern states centers carry it.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2014 at 3:23PM
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I watched the brix tomato test video on YT today comparing brix with and without rock dust. Almost no difference...sadly.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2015 at 1:30AM
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