Andesite Mineral Complex, great for your garden!

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Do you wish your plants were healthier and more vibrant? Andesite can improve the production rates, Brix (sugar) levels and nutrient-density in the edibles that you are growing. It can also attract more pollinators to your garden by making more and larger blooms on flowers and all flowering plants. Andesite is 100% natural and safe for use on indoor and outdoor plants. Andesite Mineral Complex

Your body needs at least 45-60 minerals for optimal health. Our soils don’t contain these minerals anymore and they must be replenished so our vegetable plants can pick them up with their roots and add them to leaves and fruits (which we eat!). This makes them more nutritious for us and better for the overall environment.  This is an excerpt from an article on Hidden Hunger (or lack of nutrition in food that should be healthy).

Discovering Super Foods

In the fall of 1978, I traveled to Forres, Scotland to visit a very special community called Findhorn where some remarkable things were happening. Findhorn is a teaching community and is famous for the superior crops from their spectacular gardens. I met people who had lived there for some time. An older couple caught my attention and I dined with them on several occasions. They looked like they were in their late sixties; however, they were quite active and full of spirit. Not a wrinkle on their faces, full heads of white hair, and rosy cheeks wrapping around warm smiles. I eventually started asking them about their life, and they told me they had lived in the Findhorn community for only five years. Before that, they had lived in the adjoining trailer park.

They asked me to guess how old they were. I hesitated, feeling confident they were 70 years of age each, but wanted to flatter them a bit, so I said I thought they were 65. They both smiled broadly and then showed me a picture of the two of them from the days before they joined the community. In the photo they looked much older than the robust people I saw sitting before me. Their wrinkles were clearly evident in the photograph; they were hunched over and appeared quite frail. Yet, their skin was now soft and smooth, they were broad and muscular and walked around quite capably. With the rosy tint in their cheeks they looked like the perfect “postcard couple.”

When they told me exactly how old they were “over 95” I didn’t believe it. They had their friends swear to it and Confirmed it with their British drivers’ licenses. I was astounded. What had turned these two around?

A few days later, I was working hard in one of the many organic, biodynamic, remineralized gardens that abound in the community. I noticed a tomato was ripe, so I picked and ate it. To my astonishment, my whole mouth lit up with its overwhelming sweetness. Never in all of my life had I tasted such a delicious tomato. I was picking these tomatoes to load on a truck that would transport them to a nearby village. I looked in the truck and I noticed some of the produce came from local farmers who also grew their produce naturally. I reached into the back of the truck and tried one of the tomatoes from a nearby farm. I had no plan in mind. I was simply still a little hungry. When I bit into it, it tasted like pure water! The taste from the first tomato was still fresh in my mouth; not more than two minutes had passed. And so, even when I again, tasted this second tomato, the difference was astounding.                                                from a HealthKeepers Magazine article

Gardeners understand that “old fashioned tomato flavor” is only available from backyard gardens or small organic farms because the minerals in the soil make them not only more flavorful but more nutritious for us to eat.  Adding natural minerals and compost really changes the way that plants make their fruit and leaves and the side effect for us is some of the best flavored food you can get anywhere and it is full of a multiple amount of minerals our bodies need and don’t get anyplace else in our diets.

Andesite Mineral Complex from Green Generations

Andesite Mineral Complex is a naturally occurring volcanic-based rock dust blend containing broad-spectrum minerals and trace elements combined with certified natural paramagnetic levels in excess of 8,ooo+ cgs. Andesite meets NOP (National Organic Program) standards for certified organic production.

When to Apply:

Andesite Mineral Complex can be applied any time throughout the year or growing cycle and cannot be over-applied, it will not harm or burn plants or leaves

Recommended Applications:

Seed Starts

  • Mix 1/8 cup Andesite per gallon of seed start planting mix.

Transplants

  • Apply 1-2 teaspoons Andesite per 4 inches of pot width/diameter of plant to be transplanted directly to the base of hole prior to transplanting edibles, flowers, trees, shrubs or other plants.

Edible Gardens & Raised Beds

  • Apply 25-40 lbs. Andesite per 1000 sq. ft. of garden space. Work into top 1-2 inches of soil pre/post season or top dress around established plants.

Potted Herbs and Vegetables

  • Top dress 1-2 teaspoons per 4 inches of pot width/diameter. Gently work into top 1/2-1 inch of soil or mix into potting soil at time of planting.

Fruit Trees

  • Top dress area between trunk and drip line of tree crown at a rate of 1lb per inch of tree trunk caliper.

Checking pH for successful vegetable gardening.

Checking pH for Successful Vegetable Gardening

Soil pH in the vegetable garden

Checking your Soil pH in the vegetable garden

Checking the pH of your vegetable garden is one of the most important parts of growing a successful garden. Normally for grass and shrubs we don’t have to spend too much time worrying about pH levels, they are not that sensitive and will not show signs of distress from being a bit too far in either direction.  In the vegetable garden, it can make a very big difference and will actually prevent your plants from taking up nutrients which allow them to grow, sometimes stunting their growth or even killing young tender plants.

Soil Test Kit

These Soil Test Kits let you know if you need lime or gypsum added to your garden soil to correct your pH as well as the NPK content of your soil.

It is always a good idea to check your pH before you plant your garden and even better is to check it in the fall or early winter so you can add Lime or Gypsum to correct pH well before you plant anything.  Here is a great article on soil pH in the vegetable garden and best methods for correcting it.

Mike the Gardener Enterprises, LLC: Raising and Lowering the pH Levels of Your Soil

These simple test kits can help you to determine the pH of your garden beds and even how much to feed your plants. Tomatoes need to have the soil pH between 5.5-7.0 in order to produce good fruit. With these simple to use kits you can test your soil up to 10 times.

Compost is the best soil additive

Adding compost to your garden every season is really the best way to keep your soil pH in the neutral range.  If you can do it regularly, it will keep your soil happy and in the perfect range for your vegetable plants.

Lime and Gypsum what do they do?

These two products, Lime and Gypsum primarily, help you with correcting soil pH to bring it back to neutral.  Generally if you are in an area that gets lots of rainfall (or snowfall), your soil will eventually go more acidic over the years and require Lime to bring it back up, in dry climates, your soil will generally be more alkaline as years go by and will require Gypsum to flush the alkaline from the soil.

Lime and Gypsum

Lime and Gypsum are great for soil correction

Correcting your soil pH and soil nutrient levels

Fall is a great time of year and is a great time to correct your soil nutrient levels deficiencies.

pH correction is so important to all vegetable plants’ success and so many of us forget to add lime or other corrective minerals to the garden before springtime hits.  Doing these tests now and getting the additives in now gives them time to break down and do the job.  Look in our catalog for pH correcting products and also add lots of compost too! Continue reading

Testing your soil pH

Soil pH, what is it and why does it matter?

A few years ago I was told a story about an old farmer that used to taste his soil. He would stand out in the field and pick up a handful of dirt and actually taste it. He could tell if the pH was acidic by just a quick nibble! Well, I am not sure I want to do that but every year we check the pH of our soil with a small testing kit or we have an evaluation of our soil done by our agricultural extension service.

The small test kit is fairly accurate but of course the extension service can be more exact as well as tell you how to correct the pH to the appropriate level for vegetables. The soil pH value, which is really the Potential Hydrogen of a liquid mixed with your soil, is a measure of soil acidity or alkalinity. This pH value directly affects the nutrient availability to plants so that even if you have lots of great nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium etc. in your soil, the roots of your vegetable plants may not be able to take them up because of the chemical actions that must take place.

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 as neutral. Numbers less than 7 indicate acidity while numbers greater than 7 indicate alkalinity. Soil humus, the dark black stuff in your soil, contains the highest CEC or cation exchange capacity which means that plants are most able to transfer nutrients from it and compost runs a close second. If the plant cannot break down the nutrients properly they don’t get fed. This can lead directly to Blossom End Rot which is a condition where the plant cannot take up calcium. Using some types of fertilizers which leave salts behind such as ammonium or urea, which is in most grass/turf fertilizers, can make soil more acidic.

In areas with plentiful rainfall it is almost always necessary to add lime, which is ground limestone, to your garden every year to correct pH to the neutral level and in areas with very little rainfall over the year, it is likely that your soil is alkaline or may have a buildup of salts. Rainfall passing through the soil leaches out basic nutrients such as calcium and magnesium from the soil. They are replaced by acidic elements such as aluminum and iron. For this reason, soils under high rainfall conditions are more acidic than those which were formed under dry conditions. Sulfur can be added to alkaline soils to correct pH or gypsum can be added to flush away salts in alkaline conditions which can correct pH levels slighly.

What is neutral? How do I correct pH? Vegetable plants prefer to have the soil pH between 5.5 and 6.5 and above or below that range must be limed or adjusted with sulfur to bring soil back into the neutral range. For small adjustments, 1 lb of lime per 100 sq. ft is enough but if your garden is new, it may require more than that to bring it up to “normal” such as 2 lbs. per square yard. Liming is basically adding natural limestone to the soil which over a period of time will change the pH value. Wood ashes can also be used so those with fireplaces can add them every winter to the garden. Two materials commonly used for lowering soil pH are aluminum sulfate and sulfur. These can be found at most garden supply centers. Aluminum sulfate will change the soil pH instantly because the aluminum produces the acidity as soon as it dissolves in the soil. Sulfur, however, requires some time for the conversion to sulfuric acid with the aid of soil bacteria. The conversion rate of the sulfur is dependent on the fineness of the sulfur, the amount of soil moisture, soil temperature and the presence of the bacteria. Sulfur can be very slow and take several months to correct pH. So most people use the aluminum sulfate. Both of these should be worked into the soil after applying to be most effective. If these materials are in contact with plant leaves as when applied to a lawn, they should be washed off the leaves immediately after application or it can burn leaves. Take extreme care not to over-apply the aluminum sulfate or the sulfur.

Purchase a soil test kit or garden lime from our catalog.