Well, my Rockdust arrived. This stuff is pretty dense, because the 25kg sack was quite small:
The recommended rate of application for it is a minimum of 500g per square metre, so I weighed some to see what 500g looked like. Not a lot!
So, I then measured out for each of my raised beds 3 generous "portions" of 500g (more like 600g in many cases, I suspect). Each bed is 1 metre x 2.4 metres - let's call it 2.5 square metres.
Then I mixed the Rockdust into the soil with a hand fork.
Having done this I thought "That doesn't look like enough", and I did the same thing all over again! The manufacturer's instructions say that you can apply as much as 5kg per square metre, but then they are trying to SELL the stuff, so I reckon they probably want you to use more than is strictly necessary. 3kgs per 2.5 metres sounds like enough for me. Hopefully enough to be able to judge whether it makes any difference. We shall see...
I often think that the recommended rate for the amendments I'm adding doesn't look like enough either, but a little goes a long way.ReplyDelete
I find the hardest part is spreading out such small amounts evenly on the bed. After measuring, I usually broadcast it by hand so that it is more or less evenly distributed on the soil surface before working it in with a cultivator.
Not much is needed, it's trace elements so very little will be used by plants. I can't remember how much I paid for mine but got it from B&Q, still have a lot left.ReplyDelete
I must have a look next time I'm in B&Q - it would save paying for carriage anyway.Delete
I'll be interested to see if there is any impact... I've never used rock dust...ReplyDelete
I have used rockdust for the first time on my new vegie patch in our local community garden. The soil is very sandy and needs a lot of building up so have used it as well as adding a lot of compost, manure,seaweed and straw in for no-dig garden beds .It will be interesting to see from both our perspectives whether the rockdust does help....although by the amount of "stuff" I have put on my beds I'm probably not going to know anyway. Love reading your blog Mark.ReplyDelete
Hi Heather; Yes, it sounds as if it might be difficult to tell what has made the difference - always assuming the community garden thrives! My soil is sandy too, despite having added to it countless barrowloads of compost over a period of 25 years! We can but try though...Delete