I've been putting glacial rock dust on my dirt beds and wondered if this could be done in AP media beds. Seems it would add some great stuff and not be so different from rock dust from media. Some experienced comments would be appreciated.
On occasions I have added Azomite (similar as glacial rock dust), for the trace minerals - works great!
No negative results over the last Year and half :-)
Let me know your results,
My beds are 3 X 5. How much did you add as I have Azomite as well?
Approx 1/4 lb per bed every three or four weeks during the growing season (I mean for leafy greens - late Oct to Mid May here in Central FL)
I'm growing tomatoes, mellon, peppers, chard, kale, broccoli, and lettuce. So I'll try it. I would think everything will benefit. Anymore input is always appreciated.
Keep in mind that if you add lots of rock dust (essentially clay/silt/sand) to your grow beds, it will build up in the bottoms of the beds eventually and could one day cause clogging and anaerobic conditions in the beds.
First i would like to thank Sylvina for writing Aquaponic Gardening. I waited 4 months for the book to come out and bought it the week it was released.
I have been working on a 200 Sq ft Greenhouse in my back yard for the last year. Of course it has a aquaponics system in it. Although my system is relatively small there was a large amount of research that went into it.
I just bought some glacier rock dust of my system. I had been using Potassium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate, a magnesium mix, seaweed extract, and iron. Experienced Aquaponic gardeners know that the fish food only provides some of the nutrients.
So lets begin. One day bought a carbonate harness test kit. I tested my water and it was extremely low. I found that the Nitrification process uses carbonate at a high rate and it must be replaced. I was below 35 ppm, and from what i have read it must be above 50 ppm. Of course i tested my tap water and it read much higher than my aquaponics system so i knew that my system was consuming it.
If you are growing leafy plants you can get away with not supplementing. Leafy plants consume large amounts of nitrogen. Aquaponic systems are great at producing nitrogen, but If you want to produce fruiting or flowering plants in a Aquaponic system you are going to have trouble unless you supplement.
When i put supplements into my system it is very time consuming. I put potassium carbonate into the sump and my ph goes up. I than have to put ph down in about 4 times over a day or two. Next I put calcium carbonate into the sump and again have to put more ph down into my sump. After that I test the water. I now have so many test kits it makes me sick, and my plants still show signs of deficiencies.
Look up "Portable Farms Mineral Rock Dust With Phyllis Davis" it a youtube video
This lady is using rock dust and has very good results. She said that it is the ONLY supplement that they use at portable farms, and their plants are very impressive.
Suddenly i came to the realization that there was a better way supplement. Although i was not convinced that her rock dust was the best. So I did a little research as there were a lot of products available on the market, but i chose Glacial Rock dust for a couple of reasons.
1) It is from Northern Canada so it is unlikely contaminated
2) There was a lot of different types of rocks mixed together to make Glacial Rock Dust so i should have a wide variety of minerals
3) It is very fine so it will be able to mineralize into the system
4) It is high in all the things that i had been supplementing. Potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, carbonate.
I can't weight to try it. I think it will preform well.