Remineralizing soil - Use of stonemeal, (crusher dust)

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by izinoz, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. izinoz

    izinoz Guest

    Have just read the book called "Livingn Energies" by Callum Coats which is about the genius of Viktor Shauberger. What he didn't understand about the environement isn't worth knowing I don't think! However, the book talks about remineralizing the soil with stonemeal, better known as rock dust or crusher dust, but I have no idea how much one should spread per square metre or whatever. Anyone got any ideas? ???
     
  2. vix

    vix Junior Member

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    I would suggest about a handful per metre to start. Since it's a mineral there's no danger of sudden nutrient release. it needs time and water to be in a form that can be absorbed by the plants roots. Plants will take up what they need as it becomes available.
     
  3. busta

    busta Junior Member

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    Rock dust is very slow release, I did some trials with blending rock dust with vege scraps and feeding them to earth worms so the rock dust goes through a certain amount of chellation in the worms innards and the castings they produce have the minerals in a colloidal form. Also I have used rock dusts in composts and added raw sulfur to ratio of 1 : 5 ( 1 part sulfur to 5 parts rock dust) the sulfur feeds a bacteria which digests the rock dust.

    peace
    Busta
     
  4. permaculture.biz

    permaculture.biz Junior Member

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    Hi,

    The thing with rock dusts is that they are all different in their analysis according to their source parent material. Olives Australia used to (and probably still do) recommend that you apply rock dust/crusher dust to each tree site as part of the site preparation process. When I first heard of this I thought "hang on - cliche advice!" I continued (and still do) using the Albrecht method of soil remineralisation which acts on "knowns" not carte blanche advice that doesn't consider the full realm of individual site characteristics nor the respective analysis of different mineral amendments. Some rock dust is from igneous sources that range widely in its chemical properties (not to mention paramagnetic properties as well) - others people have used is from metamorphosed sediments which have a very low status indeed.

    My cynicism for Olives Australia's advice was latterly supported by an independant study on the use of rock dust/crusher dust on the mineral content (available) of soils and it found that in most cases the release of minerals was that slow that it was clearly uneconomic to use the stuff. The exception was with high analysis RPR (reactive rock phosphate) where there was, albeit over the longer term (3-10+ years) some release of minerals. The conclusion of the report was that whilst use of high analysis RPR was over time beneficial and built up "capital levels" of soil phosphorus- that it was more important and beneficial to deal with the Calcium:Magnesium ratio (of Cation Exchange Capacity - as promoted by the Albrecht practitioners) as the primary means of dealing with soil mineral deficiencies and imbalances.

    The idea of feeding the rock dust to worms as suggested is quite reasonable - and is something I've heard of over time - again though you can't make something into something it isn't - crappy rock dust is crappy rock dust - go for the quality.

    A similar issue such as this surfaces from continued compost application and the subsequent buildup of pottassium levels in soils which "tips" the fine balance of soils. If you are doing this stuff you owe it to yourself to take it easy - go with quality - and get the analysis - just ask David Holmgren what happens when you don't - soil mineral imbalances can cause considerable difficulties in successfully cultivating healthy plants, livestock and the humans that consume them.

    Rave on,

    Cheers,

    Darren Doherty
     
  5. alextacy

    alextacy Junior Member

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    Hi Darren,

    Is there any good literature / web pages on the Albrecht method of soil remineralisiation that you can recommend?

    Is this method suitable for all areas, or does it define different methods for different areas?

    Cheers,

    Alexis
     
  6. permaculture.biz

    permaculture.biz Junior Member

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    Hi Alex,

    The best book on the subject is "Hands On Agronomy" by Neal Kinsey. Neal was a student of Dr. William Albrecht (Professor Emiritus of Soils @ Missouri Uni for about 40 years) in the 60's, and is, since Dr. Albrecht's passing is the methods foremost expert. Acres USA produced "The Albrecht Papers" which I have - they are an ideal treatment for sleeping disorders - like a lot of soils stuff very dry - Kinsey by comparison makes the subject come to life - true to his personality - very lively and full of enthusiasm. I studied the Albrecht method under Kinsey at Roseworthy (Ag. Campus of SA Uni) a few years ago now. An excellent practioner and educator with hand's on global experience.

    The sampling and analysis methods used don't and haven't changed in nearly forty years unlike other labs. As such the points of relativity are very strong and comforting as such. The method is universal as the relationships between soil chemistry:soil physics:soil biota are universal. Makes the whole issue of dealing with soil problems much easier - and works on the law of the knowns and the minimum - only use what you know you need and no more - which can't be said for a range of other methodologies.

    Cheers,

    Darren Doherty
     
  7. AmandaM

    AmandaM Junior Member

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    Better late than never I hope

    The best way to decide how much rock dust to spread is to take a soil sample and have it analysed by a laboratory familiar with the Albrecht method. There is one such that I know of in Australia, it is called Swep laboratories and they are based in Victoria, but they will take samples from all over Australia and the rest of the world if required.

    You will find them at https://www.swep.com.au - there are instructions on taking samples, pricing and a listing of their agents in the various areas if you would prefer to have the sample taken by a professional.

    When the report comes back to you, it will include the exact amounts of rock dust to apply to remineralise your soil (usually gypsum, lime or dolomite) in tonnes/ha. There will also be NPKS fertilizer requirements and possibly some trace mineral suggestions as well. Ignore that part, as I have been advised that once the soils are in balance, the nutrients and trace elements will frequently take care of themselves.

    Go out today and buy a copy of the book Natural Farming, by Pat Coleby, she lays it all out for you in a pretty straightforward manner and although she is not aligned to any particular farming faction (other than being generally organic), you have to respect over 50 years farming experience both here and in England without chemicals or other artificial props.
     
  8. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Amanda, this Pat Coleby sounds great! I tried to find her book on Natural Farming at the library, and they said they would have to try to borrow it from the ONLY library in America that has it, across the country from me. They also said ONE library in Australia has it.

    I guess the only place I might find it is at used book shops.

    Sigh.

    Sue
     
  9. Yeehah

    Yeehah New Member

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    Have you tried the Good Life Book club? Contact:
    Phone 03 5424 1814
    Fax 03 54241743

    They're an off-shoot of Earth Garden magazine, and I'm sure I've seen Pat Coleby books listed either in EG or Grass Roots, can't remember what title though.
     
  10. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Yeehaw, I didn't realize when I created my name that WA (Washington State, U.S. looks suspiciously like WA (Western Australia).

    You've got tons more permaculture books down there, believe me!

    Sue
     
  11. paige

    paige Junior Member

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    good website about remineralization

    I'm quite new to remineralization, but have found this website to be informative: https://www.remineralize.org.

    Paige
     
  12. nobis77

    nobis77 Junior Member

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    thanks paige, looks good.
     
  13. Thomas-R

    Thomas-R New Member

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    Use of stonemeal

    Hi,

    to the contrary what chemical industries and its Highpriests as Fertilizer-Professors might tell us, I very much recommend to search for a book ~120 y.o. titled "Life" written by a real chemical-genius, named JULIUS HENSEL. He originates from Germany but this title amongst others are published also in English. ACRES organisation supports this teaching too.

    Anyone who "conquered" this book, will be for the rest of his life cured from any Fertilizer-Professor around still singing the song of chemical-industries.

    Important to realise is, that one needs a mixture of certain rock-powders to succeed like Nature does on its own. The stonemeal recipies are given in the above mentioned book in great detail. Concsider certain Stonemeal as a folks-technology to soil, analog to folks medicine vs pharma "medicine".
    ------

    Book: "LIFE" by Julius Hensel
    Life: its foundation and the means for its preservation; a physical explanation for the practical application of agriculture, forestry, nutrition, the functions of life, health and disease and general welfare. ~1895
    ----


    As an excerpt from LIFE, is a title by the same author:
    BREAD FROM STONE

    Good Luck !!!
    Thomas
     
  14. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    Soils resulting from weathered volcanic rocks are some of the best in the world.

    Surely spreading a small quantity of crusher dust from a volcanic quarry (eg basalt) can do no harm and might even do some good. When I bought 2 m3 of crushed dust for doing a tank base I got a little more and put it down near the compost. I think it cost me $13 for 1/4 m3 (around 400kilograms!!!)

    There was a fair portion of quite coarse material in it (say, up to 2mm), but still some fine "dust". I spread out a handfull, when I feel like it, preparing beds etc.

    I'm not saying don't go to people that know about these things, but I think keeping it in perspective is also important.
     
  15. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    I have read that much of Oz is mineral-poor, along with certain places in the U.S. and other parts of the world.

    Here is an interesting site on remineralizing the soil:
    https://www.remineralize.org/climate.php

    From the site: "The Men of Trees organization in Australia is doing remineralization trials with many species of trees in Australia with phenomenal results, such as five times the growth of trees seedlings of one variety of eucalyptus, over the untreated controls. (See Forestry Research packet)."

    Sue
     
  16. Noni

    Noni Junior Member

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    All too often we talk about chemistry and forget about the role played by the little critters we just can’t see..

    Phosphorus in its inorganic forms (Rock P, phosphate, phosphine gas) is more leachable than in organic forms (membranes of organisms, organic materials), and not necessarily available at the right place and right time (near plant roots). Soil microbes exchange plant required nutrients at the roots where it is needed, in exchange for exudates released by the plant.

    I suggest testing the biology of your soil, as well as the chemistry (report on soluble, exchangeable and total extractable nutrients) - to get the whole picture. Perhaps all the nutrients you need are already in your soil... you may just need to add a compost tea! https://www.soilfoodweb.com.au/index.php?pageid=335

    I learnt most of what I know from Elaine Ingham (Soil Foodweb Institute) and Graham Lancaster (Southern Cross University), each of them specialise in soil biology and chemistry respectively. Both are associated with testing labs in Lismore NSW.

    In terms of reading material there is a growing body of published knowledge on soil biology but the easiest one I found to read is Teaming with Microbes – A Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web (printed 2006).

    Happy composting!
    Noni
     
  17. arawajo

    arawajo Junior Member

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    Where I live its all serpentinite rock. This means the soil is very high in magnesium. I have a lot of trouble growing anything! Well we do have a lot of Native Grass Trees around here but there aren't many other things that like growing in magnesium as far as I know.

    The soils are alkaline so I can't just add the ususal stuff to my soil. What Darren says is true - you have to know your soil first. Waste of time and money to apply anything before you know what you are dealing with.

    Does anyone out there know what does grow well in alkaline soils with high magnesium content?
     
  18. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Arawago, I'm not familiar with soil that is so high in magnesium. Where I live, it's just the opposite.

    But I was just googling around, and ran across this soil amendment of which I have never heard. Maybe you can search for more info.

    "Aragonite. Add some surf to your turf with this sea calcium. Aragonite has exceptionally high levels of calcium and low levels of magnesium, which could tie up your soil’s nutrients. When used with gypsum, Aragonite can offset soil’s high magnesium levels. Typical analysis: 0-0-0-39 Ca."

    The site was https://www.fertrell.com/soil_amendments.html and I don't know anything about them, either.

    Sue
     
  19. arawajo

    arawajo Junior Member

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    Thank you so much Sue - looking into it now!
     
  20. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Magnesium in the soil.

    A strange problem.
    how do you know magnesium is the problem?
    Has the soil lots of organic matter?
    Have you tried charcoal to bind the magnesium ( not too much for acid loving plants c. 100g per sq metre, very finely ground.)
    Are you using grey-water?

    https://www.adventusgroup.com/education/ ... ation.html

    https://users.mrbean.net.au/~wlast/magne ... oride.html

    https://www.au.gardenweb.com/forums/load ... 14514.html
     

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