Rock phosphate, or phosphorite, is mined from clay depositsthat contain phosphorus and is used to make organic phosphatefertilizers that many gardeners utilize. In the past, rock phosphate was used alone as a fertilizer, but due to a lack in supply, as well as low concentration, most applied fertilizer isprocessed.
There are a number of types of rock phosphate fertilizeravailable on the market, some are liquid, and some are dry. Many gardeners swear by using rock-based fertilizers suchas rock phosphate, bone meal and Azomite. These nutrient-rich fertilizers work with the soil rather than against it as
chemical fertilizers do. The nutrients are then made available to plants at a steady and even rate throughout the growing season.
Rock phosphate also referred to as phosphate rock or phosphorite, is a type of non-detrital sedimentary rock packed with phosphate mineralization, including apatite.
In addition to being an essential organic source of phosphorus, phosphate rock also contains limestone, clay, and some other essential trace minerals.
Traditionally, gardeners used the rock, on its own, to add phosphorus to the soil.
However, most of them now use the processed rock phosphate fertilizers available on the market due to the lack of supply of rock phosphate and its low concentration of phosphorus.
Then modern phosphate fertilizers are made of soft rock phosphate.
While the nutrient composition of both soft and hard rock phosphate is similar, they are more accessible for plants in soft rock phosphate.
Furthermore, since it works as a slow-release fertilizer, it ensures a consistent supply of the nutrients.
The commercial rock phosphate fertilizers are commonly known as rock dust.
There are also many phosphorus-only fertilizers available on the market.
They are called superphosphates and are derived from acid-treated minerals.
What Does Rock Phosphate Do for Plants?
These fertilizers are commonly called "rock dust" and provide just the right amount of nutrients to make plants strongand healthy. The use of rock phosphate for gardens is a common practice for both flowers as well as vegetables.Flowers love an application of rock phosphate early in the season and will reward you with big, vibrant blooms.
Roses really like rock dust and develop a stronger root system and more buds when it is used. You can also use rockphosphate to encourage healthy tree and lawn root system development.
What Happens When Plants Do Not Get the Required Amount of Phosphorus?
Phosphorus deficiency in plants leads to:
Slow or stunted plant growth
Slowing down the process of carbohydrate utilization, which leads to carbohydrate accumulation.
Dark-green leaf color.
This is the result of a higher concentration of carbohydrates in plants.
Older leaves in phosphorus-deficient plants may also turn purple.
Increased susceptibility of plants to disease.