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What is Azomite Rock Dust & How Do I Use it?

Azomite is a natural rock dust product that is exclusively mined in the State of Utah. Azomite is created from an ancient volcanic eruption into a seabed. Azomite is used in many different agriculture industries from growing vegetables to making golf courses lush and green.

Gardeners and farmers use Azomite for its micro-nutrient content. It doesn't throw off the PH of the soil, and can help with some of the lesser needed nutrients in your soil.

Why are micro-nutrients in my soil so important?

Because of Liebig's law of the minimum.  It states that growth is dictated not by total resources available, but by the scarcest resource. So regardless of how much of something you need, if it is in low amounts in the soil it will inhibit growth of your crops.

Like other rock dust products, Azomite can help to fill those gaps in the lesser needed nutrients. When applying this to your garden, you may have plenty of the macro-nutrients, but if you are low on any of the micro-nutrients then your crops will suffer.

This is where Aozimte can help your plants thrive. When applied Azomite will provide your plants 70 minerals and micro-nutrients that can help round out the buffet of nutrients available to your plants in the soil.

So I want to try Azomite out, how do I use it?

You want to make sure you choose the right grade for the right application. Azomite comes in the following grades, ultrafine, micronized, field grade, granulated, and pelletized. Starting with the ultrafine, it would be used more for irrigation style application, and then you move to the other end of the spectrum with the pellitized, and it would be used in the field for a longer slower release of nutrients.

Since Azomite comes in many different grades, it will depend on how you want to apply it. For a home gardener with a vegetable garden, or someone growing personal amounts of cannabis, top dressing is the easiest way to use it. For top dressing you can use pretty much any grade of Azomite you want. To top dress, you just simply sprinkle some Azomite on the surface of the soil. Depending on the grade you get you may want to water it in so that the wind doesn't remove some of the Azomite you just top dressed.

If you are trying to apply Azomite on large scale on hundreds or even thousands of acres, using the ultrafine may be your best bet. It can be mixed into your irrigation system and easily applied to thousands of acres via irrigation equipment, or via spray tanks mounted on tractors. For the same situation you can also use a tractor to spread and till into your fields with a chunkier size Azomite product like the field grade.

I've been using Azomite for over 10 years, and we put it in our soil blend as well. I personally like to mix it with basalt rock dust and use them both in my vegetable garden, and when re-amending my no-till living soil pots for cannabis.

If I am re-amedning my vegetable gardens I typically will top dress my amendments in the fall, and then add some extra compost or wood chips on top of that and water in. Doing this in the fall gives the amendments time to break down for planting in the spring. I tend to only apply amendments 1 time per year in my outdoor vegetable gardens.

When using this in my indoor no-till living soil marijuana garden, I will top dress after each harvest. I do not wait to plant a new plant, and just sprinkle my amendments and plant the same day.

The different grades will become bio-available at different times. The finer the grade the faster it will break down. The chunkier grades tend to take longer to break down and are perfect for field applications, or long season crops. These grades can take months to break down, which saves you the time of needing to reapply more than once per year.

Below are some basic use rates for using Azomite in home use applications and commercial use applications. I have also listed my personal preference on the amounts I prefer to use in my soil and when re-amending no-till living soil pots full of cannabis.

  • Use Rate In Mixing Your Own Soil: ¼ to ½ cup per cubic foot
  • Use rate when top dressing a 30 gallon no-till living soil container: 1/8 to ¼ cup per cycle
  • Use Rate When top dressing a 4' x 4' no-till living soil bed: ¾ to 1 cup per cycle

Commercial Use Rate:

  • Field Crops, Pastures, Vegetables, Viticulture, Small Fruits, Fruit Trees, Nut Crops, Orchards, Trees, Nursery Stock: Apply 150-300* lbs/ac broadcast; 100 lbs/ac banded; or 50 lbs/acre in-row banded. Foliar spray or apply with irrigation the Micronized or Ultrafine product assuring there is adequate agitation, proper screen and nozzle sizes, at rates of 3-5 lb/acre several times per season as needed.

*Note: Use the higher rate of 300 lbs/ac broadcast on high value crops, poor soil, and/or for potentially increased crop yield and quality benefit.

  • Golf Course, Sports Turf, and Commercial Lawns: Apply 2-3 lbs per 1,000 sq ft to the soil once per year. Foliar spray or apply with irrigation using the Micronized or Ultrafine product assuring there is adequate agitation, proper screen and nozzle sizes, at rates of 0.07 – 0.11 lb per 1,000 sq ft. as needed.
  • Greenhouse and Potting Soil: Add 7 -10 lbs per cubic yard of potting soil, plus add low rates of AZOMITE Micronized or UltraFine to the irrigation water, assuring there is adequate agitation, screen and nozzle sizes, when possible, on a weekly basis.
  • Compost: Add 50-100 lbs per ton of compost preferably at the beginning of the compost cycle.
  • Hydroponics: Add to the irrigation water plus foliar sprays at appropriate rates assuring there is adequate agitation, screen and nozzle sizes. Add to the potting soil at 7 -10 lbs per cubic yard.

Home Use Rate:

  • Vegetable & Flower Gardens: Apply 1/2 lb per 100 square feet or 1/2 lb per 200 ft of linear row in a 6″ wide band.
  • Trees, Fruit trees, Grape Vines, Ornamentals and Shrubs, etc.: Add 1/2 lb. to 1 lb. to the soil around each plant and lightly till or water/irrigate into the soil.
  • Lawns: Apply 2-3 lbs per 1,000 square feet once a year in the Spring, Fall or Winter. This equals 20-30 lbs/10,000 square feet.
  • House Plants and Flowers: Mix 1/2 teaspoon per inch of pot diameter with potting soil before planting. Apply ½ to 1 teaspoon every three months to the soil surface of the soil and water in.
  • Greenhouse and Potting Soil: Add 7 -10 lbs per cubic yard of potting soil, and add to the irrigation water when possible, on a weekly basis, at a low rate.
  • Compost: Add 5-10 lbs per 200 lb of compost added at the beginning of the compost cycle.
  • Hydroponics: Add AZOMITE to the irrigation water assuring there is adequate agitation, screen and nozzle sizes, and foliar sprays, and potting soil, as per above rates.

Making sure your soil is full of every nutrient your plant needs is one of the most important things a gardener can do to have a successful harvest. With the micro-nutrients being as important as the macro-nutrients, Azomite can help to make sure that your plants thrive and that you have a successful growing season.

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