There are plenty of benefits that glacial rock dust can cause for the soil. Here are the three main ways it can help:
Restoring Degraded Soil
In the natural world, when plants and other organisms die their bodies are returned to the soil. Thus, it restores the minerals contained in their bodies back to the ground they lived in. This doesn’t happen in an agricultural situation. Instead, millions of tons of plant matter are taken off farm fields and transported long distances away for resale. This means that the minerals from agricultural soil end up either in septic systems or landfills. Therefore, causing the garden soil to become chronically depleted of minerals with no natural way to have their levels restored.
Glacial rock dust can restore this deficit as it helps to recreate the colloids (minerals and soil structure) within your garden. Thus, making it better suited for retaining moisture, housing beneficial bacteria and making nutrients accessible. Adding rock dust to the soil restores the balance needed for multiple life forms to thrive. Therefore, allowing your plants to be better supported and grow more robust.
Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition
When soil gets depleted, it loses a lot of its nutritional value. In fact, missing minerals in our food is a huge cause for concern. Though organic compost can restore soil structure, it won’t be able to fix mineral deficiencies in the soil.
Mineral deficiencies don’t just affect the soil, they also affect the quality of our food. Fruits and vegetables grown in degraded soil are missing key minerals. This means that grocery store produce is probably a lot less healthy for you than you actually think. In fact, recent studies show that the vitamin and mineral content in commercially produced fruits and vegetables has been halved in the past four decades. Some agricultural soils are now so deficient that you would have to eat five apples today to get the same nutritional benefit as one apple from 1965! Though this may only seem like an inconvenience, it can have major ramifications for your overall health and well being.
Not only does re-mineralizing soil make plants healthier, it also transfers the benefits to us when we eat them.
Increases Plant Growth and Pest Resistance
Silicate rocks contain an enormous about of minerals and trace elements that keep plants growing well, many of which aren’t contained in commercial fertilizers. This means that adding glacial rock dust to your soil helps your garden plants consume a more well-rounded diet that leads to overall better growth. Some studies have shown growth increases in re-mineralized soils that are up to four times as much as regular soil, and plants ranging from grasses to trees are all positively affected.
Better growing plants also tend to be healthier plants, and garden beds treated to some glacial rock dust often enjoy increased resistance to insect pests and fungal diseases.