Rock Minerals Boost Brix Levels and Increase Tomato Yields by 52%

It’s great to see how composting is trending on social media. Suddenly, compost is “cool” again. (Figuratively, that is. Learn how to turn up the heat on your compost pile by reading our previous blog post, “Bring On the Heat: Why Volcanic Basalt is a Composter’s Best Friend.”)

However, no amount of organic compost will replace minerals that have gone missing from the soil—whether it’s through overuse, misuse, or simple weathering (heavy rains can cause minerals to leach from the soil very quickly). What’s the big deal? As minerals become depleted, plants can’t get the necessary nutrients to maintain optimal growth and maximum potential.

The way to get your soil back in balance is to remineralize it with rock dust. One of the best sources is volcanic basalt, a well-rounded rock that makes essential micronutrients and trace elements readily available to both plants and soil microbes.

In greenhouse testing, tomatoes grown with volcanic basalt showed increased brix levels and a 52% increase in yield over tomatoes that were grown in soil without. There were also notable increases in iron and calcium, as noted in the chart below. (Note: Soil was amended with Cascade Minerals Remineralizing Soil Booster which contains only 100% natural, finely milled volcanic basalt from Central Oregon and which is OMRI listed for use in organic production.)Tomato Graph


So where does basalt come from and why does it work? Basalt forms when lava is expelled through a fissure in the Earth’s surface.  It consists of three key silica-based minerals (plagioclase feldspar, pyroxene and olivine) which are sources of calcium, magnesium, iron and other elements that are plant micronutrients. When it is finely milled and applied to the soil, basalt mimics the earth’s own slow process of restoring the minerals that plants need to flourish.

Learn more about volcanic basalt by reading more of our blog.