4 weeks ago I started the indoor rock dust field trial. The two hypothesis are that the rock dust will have no impact on the germination rate and that the seedlings will do better with rock dust included in the soil mixture. The base soil mix is equal parts cocunut core, peat based potting mix, worm castings. In the experimental category I then put in 1/2 of a part by volume of rock dust. I am using Gaia Green Glacial Rock Dust however lots of rock dust products like Azomite.
Rock dust product claims to add trace elements often lacking in soils. Those trace minerals are bio-available to the plants and enhance the activities of things like beneficial microbes and worms which further enhances the soil for plant growth.
the trial has been running for 4 weeks. I have one control and one test of each of the varieties of peppers and tomatoes. I had to move the peppers upstairs into my spare room as my furnace turned off and the basement is getting cold.
Aji Omnicolor Pepper: 3/3 Control Germination; 3/3 Rock Dust Germination
Taquila Sunrise Pepper: 3/3 Control Germination; 3/3 Rock Dust Germination
Santa Fe Grande Pepper: 3/3 Control Germination; 3/3 Rock Dust Germination
Roza Linda Tomato: 3/3 Control Germination; 2/3 Rock Dust Germination
Bison Tomato: 3/3 Control Germination; 3/3 Rock Dust Germination
White Tomato: 0/3 Control Germination; 3/3 Rock Dust Germination**
This supports our hypothesis that Rock Dust has no impact on germination rates. There is one cavity to that which is the White Tomato that completely failed to germinate in the control.
Some general observations is that the rock dust is having a positive impact on the pepper seedlings however the tomatoes seem to have the opposite effect. There are two anomalies in the Tomato category that have yet to be explained. The Roza Linda rock dust seedlings are quite a bit smaller then the control. We also failed to get 1 of the control white tomatoes to germinate. That said this is just preliminary findings and by no means final.