The ABCs of Buying Rock Dust

Rock Dust

If you are aiming for optimal and sustainable plant growth that results in more nutritious foods and a healthier planet, look no further than rock dust.

Also known as rock minerals, rock flour, rock powder, stone dust, soil remineralizer and mineral fines, rock dust is finely crushed rock containing micronutrients and trace elements that are important to the life cycle of plants and which enhance the ability of beneficial microbes to flourish.

Although some retailers classify rock dust as a fertilizer, it does not have the necessary amounts of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus (N-P-K) to qualify as such. Instead, rock dust contains minerals like calcium and trace elements like iron and manganese, which are difficult to replace once they’ve been depleted from the soil as a result of natural weathering and/or over-farming.

Because not all rock dust is alike, look carefully at the packaging to see the source of the rock material. Igneous rocks like basalt and granite have the highest mineral content, with basalt providing a greater balance of nutrients for optimal plant health and vitality.

Created through the cooling and solidification of magma and lava, basalt is the rock material that makes up most of the soils around the world. It continues to deliver a steady flow of nutrients over time, even as it decomposes. Basalt’s slow-release benefits make it an effective way to minimize deficiencies, particularly with fast-growing crops that experience periods of rapid nutrient uptake.

Buying Rock Dust

Look for rock dust at your local organic nursery or garden center, alongside products for indoor gardeners. You might also find it among specialty foods (vegetable, fruit tree and vine) or among simples like fish, cottonseed and alfalfa meal. You might even find rock dust located among lawn care products as more gardeners and commercial lawn services are gravitating toward all-natural methods of maintaining healthy turf.

Rock dust’s results include improved plant structure, increased resistance to pests and diseases, and more intense flavor profiles for fruits and vegetables. It is a low-cost, high-impact way to aid in the regeneration of our soils and to sustain a healthier planet.


When looking for a soil amendment made of volcanic basalt, look for a high-quality product that is listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) for use in organic production. One product that meets this criteria is Cascade Minerals Remineralizing Soil Booster which is made entirely in the USA from all-natural volcanic basalt from Central Oregon.