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January 2005: Rock Dust for Gardeners

If you have seen the article in the January 2005 issue of Kitchen Garden, you will be aware of how useful rock dusts can be for the vegetable gardener. Mineral Solutions has carried out many trials of combinations of rock dusts derived from hard rock quarries combined with composts from a range of sources.

Full details are given as downloadable pdf files from the Case Studies part of our site: projects MIST 1, MIST 2 and MIST 3. These are large files!

Briefly, our trials involved blends of quarry fines from basalt, dolerite and felsite quarries in the north of England and south of Scotland. These were blended with composts from municipal green waste, food industry waste, kerbside collection (household green waste) and anaerobic-digested farm waste.

Tomato trials: Blends were 70% compost, 30% fines, by weight. The best results in terms of yield were for composts with a high nitrogen content; the type of rock made no difference, bearing in mind that addition of rock to compost improved performance in all cases.

Grass trials: Blends were 50% compost, 50% fines, by weight. Again, high yields were obtained for high nitrogen composts.

There are many articles in the scientific literature about the use of rock dusts in cultivation, and some of these report failures as well as successes. Remember that if you use rock dust you are mimicking natural processes that take place over many years. Remember also that plants accelerate these processes and are very good at extracting the nutrients they need from the soil minerals.

For more information about using rock fines in blends with composts, contact us.

February 2004: rock dust:

Did you see the article about the value of rock dust in food production in the 'Independent' on 10th February? We supply rock dust as our product MSL-K, which is a carefully selected blend of volcanic minerals licensed by the Soil Association and suitable for a wide range of farming, horticultural and gardening uses. MSL-K is available in 25 kg bags as a fine powder, or in 500 kg big bags as a crushed rock. In both cases the minimum order is 1 tonne, suitable for 0.5 hectares or 1 acre of grassland.

This page was last updated on the 28th October 2005.
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