Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Basalt - Volcanic Rock Dust


Above - This winter DJ's Co-owner, Derek Cameron is applying rock dust to his vineyard in an effort to increase his soils minerals and moisture holding capacity.
Volcanic rock dust, correctly called basalt ground rock, has a long history of use in human agriculture.Volcanic rock dust contains Basalt the mother rock renowned for producing the worlds most fertile soils. It is now commercially available where it is  mixed in with other fertilisers to provide better nutrition.

Why?


Less demand for water. For the last three years Derek has been applying organic compost at 2.5 tonnes to the hectare. This has increased the amount of organic matter in his soil. This year he is adding Volcanic Rock Dust @100kg per tonne (10%) to the organic compost on half of his vineyard.

Through making the soil more fertile and increasing plant root masses, water use is limited as the vines need less persistent watering in order to survive. As a bonus organic matter holds many times its own weight in water increasing the amount of water soil can hold.

What? 

 

Volcanic Rock Dust is basalt mined from volcanoes. It contains Silica, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Molybdenum, Copper, Sodium, Sulphur and Cobalt.

As elements, the average composition is:
Silicon 22%
Iron 11%
Aluminium 8%
Calcium 7%
Magnesium 6%
Sodium 2%
Titanium 2%
Potassium 1%

How? 

 

Rock Sulphate comes in 1 tonne bags and 25kg bags. It is a very fine powder. DJ's can arrange for this to be mixed in bulk or you can mix it yourself.

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As an added advantage it is a BFA organic registered product suitable for organic growers. If you are interested in adding basalt contact DJ's for more information and pricing.

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