Volcanic rock dust
Myth or real elements?
Some of us make an effort to take vitamin supplements daily or regularly. This is because our bodies cannot produce these elements and need to find other ways of getting these necessary vitamins. Imagine there was a bottle of vitamins for your plants, would you buy it look after your plants? If you think about it, there is, volcanic rock dust. Many people think that surely if you add volcanic rock dust then you can just as well add some normal rocks. Well, that is how a few sceptics have been comparing the two, as many people have also thought so about taking vitamins.
So, what is volcanic rock dust actually?
Other names include, rock flour, rock dust and basalt and even rock powder. Volcanic rock dust truly is one of the greatest materials you could add to any plant or tree. Igneous rock like basalt from volcanoes have the highest mineral content and thus provide the biggest benefit for your soil. For thousands of years many civilations have settled themselves near volcanoes as this is where the most fertile soil in the world could be found, at the base of volcanoes.
Volcanic activity forces igneous rocks out of the earth and onto the surface where they are broken down by plant roots. Because these rocks have not been worn down or weathered on the surface, their trace elements and micronutrients have not leached out. This means that powdered volcanic rock can be a great fertiliser. Once volcanic rock is added to your soil it breaks up much quicker than any other rock. Because of its higher content of quarts, it makes more of it accessible to your garden plants more quickly.
When a volcano explodes it sends rich layers of magma out onto the surface. When the magma cools and solidifies, it forms igneous rock called basalt. This is natures way to pull nutrients from the centre of the earth to the surface. The rock is then slowly broken down and forms a steady supply of minerals to the roots of plants on the surface.
Regions around Naples are perfect examples of the benefits volcanic eruptions have on the environment. Even Hawaii which had eruptions later then Mount Vesuvius. The soils in both these regions are very rich with minerals as it has been weathered and broken down by rain. There are many other examples of areas like this as they all show a massive transformation where minerals have been spewed from inside the earth to the surface.
With 72 trace elements available in volcanic rock dust, it would be interesting to know what they all do to the plants. Herewith some information on the major elements and the benefits they have for plants.
- Aluminium – Prevents biotic and abiotic stress. This element helps in growth stimulation as it improves the growth of plant’s roots.
- Calcium – Calcium assists with the formation of cell walls and cell membranes, as it plays a vital role in soil structure. This element can only move up the plant, thus, when it is depleted from the soil it cannot provide the same nutrients back down to the roots.
- Magnesium – This is the powerhouse behind photosynthesis. In short Magnesium is required to give leaves their green colour, thus allowing chlorophyll to capture sun energy which is needed for photosynthesis. This element is also used for the metabolism of carbohydrates and cell membrane stabilization.
- Copper – This activates some enzymes in plants which are involved in lignin synthesis. This element is also required in the process of photosynthesis, as it is essential in plant respiration and assists the plant metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins. Copper intensifies flavour and colour in vegetables.
- Iron – Iron helps the plant move oxygen throughout the leaves, roots and other parts of the plant producing the green colour that lets you know, your plant is healthy. Thus, the yellow colour on leaves is caused by a lack of oxygen throughout the plant.
- Manganese – This is an important micronutrient for plant growth and development, as it sustains metabolic roles within different plant cell compartments. This element is essential for growth and reproduction.
- Potassium – Potassium helps regulate the opening and closing of the stomata, which in turn regulates the exchange of water vapor, oxygen and carbon dioxide. If this element is not available in adequate amounts, it stunts plant growth and reduces yield.
- Zinc – Zinc is used in the formation of chlorophyll and some carbohydrates as it’s presence in plant tissue helps the plant to withstand cold temperatures. This element is essential in the formation of auxins, which help with growth regulation and stem elongation.
So, in short, volcanic rock dust contains most of the essential elements to help plants grow. When you take your vitamins in the morning and see your plants not doing so well or being a dull colour, think about it, your plants could also use some vitamins in the form of volcanic rock dust. Just go online and order it from Just Berry Plants.