AZOMITE® is unique silica clay that is mined in Utah from deposits left by an ancient volcanic eruption that was ejected out of the side of a mountain and filled a nearby lake bed. This combination of seawater, fed by hundreds of rivers rich in minerals, and the rare and abundant minerals present in volcanic ash created the AZOMITE® deposit. It is found nowhere else on Earth. The deposit is very old, perhaps as much as 30 million years. Assays reveal that the material contains a broad spectrum of over 70 metabolically active minerals and trace elements which include many rare earth elements (lanthanides). Many of these elements have been depleted from soils worldwide.
AZOMITE® is a specialty product that we employ throughout our gardens. We love that Azomite has been kept protected underground for millions of years away from the pollution in today's world. It is such a rich source of minerals for plants providing what they need for optimal growth without any concerns of possible fertilizer burns.
Gardeners can see increased germination rates, improved yield, more flowers, disease and pest resistance and better tasting vegetables.
AZOMITE® requires no mixing. It is odorless, will not burn plants and will not restrict aeration or water penetration. Unlike some products, AZOMITE® is not a manufactured, chemically prepared fertilizer. It is 100% natural with no additives, synthetics or filters. AZOMITE® is listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) for use in organic production.
We are based in Tucson but we make runs up to the Phoenix area a couple times per month to deliver product, typically on Sundays. We normally meet our customers at any exit off I-10 between Buckeye and Tucson. We do not charge a delivery fee.
Coconut Coir is a natural by-product of coconut harvesting. It is a sustainable renewable resource that is free of bacteria and fungal spores. In the 1980's, horticulturalists began studying Coconut Coir dust as a substitute for Sphagnum peat moss. They found that Coir lasts three times as long as peat moss. Peat moss can take 5 to 10 years to reproduce, making it a non-renewable resource. The pH levels of Coir are more neutral also, ranging from 5.8 to 6.8, whereas peat moss lowers the pH of surrounding soil. We use Nature's Footprint Coco-Coir which has already been screened, washed and graded, and is free of pathogens and disease.
Compost and Coir have many of the same characteristics, such as spongy texture, expanding air space, and high moisture holding capability. Backyard/garden compost breaks down rapidly in the soil and must be re-applied annually. However, Coconut Coir will last in the soil for years. It's estimated that Coir added to soil has a lifespan of 5 to 10 years before it begins to break down. It outperforms peat moss, rockwool, vermiculite and perlite as a soil amendment.
Coir is a 100% organic wetting agent. Its ability to rehydrate repeatedly as soil moves from wet to dry with little loss in yield is remarkable. In addition, wet Coir holds around 1000 times more air than soil, making it the superior choice for creating potting mixes. It has a high water-holding capacity, holding seven times its weight in water, yet provides plant roots with excellent drainage, fostering root development as it does not compact.
Coir's high air to water ratio is extremely valuable for healthy root development. Coir has the ability to store and release nutrients to plant roots for extended periods of time. With better nutrient absorption, coir fosters excellent growth and plant formation.
Coir has many different uses. It is a great mulch and soil treatment, allowing you to turn clay and sandy soil into an effective growing medium. When mixed with dense, compacted soil, Coir acts to increase aeration, water flow and nutrient transport. Conversely, when added to well drained, sandy soils, Coir helps retain moisture and bind nutrients. Coir can help control soil erosion and is a great bedding material for worm composters. It is also a great hydroponic growth medium which helps to facilitate seed germination. By adding one part coir to two parts topsoil you can made a perfect growing media for container and potted plants.
When using coir as a soil amendment your plants require less fertilizer, develop more elaborate and stronger root systems, and are more resistant to disease, pathogens and weeds.
We recommend using Coco-Coir when planting/transplanting Moringa trees from pots to the ground. Dig the hole and line the bottom with several inches of moistened Coir and insert the plant.
People often ask us what we use to grow plants so successfully in our harsh desert environment. We are happy to share some of the helpful things we’ve discovered and implemented along the way and our hands-on experience of growing plants in the Sonoran Desert.
With temperatures over 100 degrees much of the year, it is important to use plenty of shade cloth, a good mulch (we use straw mainly), and drip irrigation with automatic timers that turn on after dark. This ensures we do not scald our crops every time we water. It also keeps evaporation down to a minimum and the ground stays moist for longer. We also add sand and compost into our soil mixtures. We have lots of worms to keep the soil aerated and fertilized. If you use livestock manures, be sure to compost manures thoroughly to keep from introducing Burmuda grass and other weed seeds into your garden.
Effective Microorganisms, more commonly known as EM, is a proprietary blend of several types of beneficial bacteria and yeasts, developed by Japanese horticulturist Teruo Higa in Okinawa, Japan. They are used as soil inoculants to enhance growth, health, yield and quality of plants. For more information, visit the teraganix website.
We buy the concentrate, then make Activated EM-1 which extends the product volume to many times that of the original concentrate. This is done by adding to water an equal part molasses to an equal part EM concentrate, then letting it ferment for several days before use. You can see the formula to make it here.
We also make EM5 which is a nontoxic formula used to deter pests. Here is the formula to make it with EM-1 and some other ingredients.
We also use EM-1 or Activated EM-1 to make Bokashi in lieu of making traditional compost. This amends the soil easier, faster, and more efficient than making compost. There are no worries about turning compost piles, or compost piles smelling or attracting flies and wildlife. Also, more energy is retained in the fermented organic matter than if it were composted in the traditional manner. So this fermented organic matter is packed with nutrients and makes a great organic fertilizer. Learn how to make it here:
We use this as a soil amendment. It revitalizes soil and speeds up decomposition of organic matter.
This compost contains EM so it has billions of beneficial bacteria to make plants healthier, help them grow faster and produce higher yields, and to help them be more resistant to diseases and pests. A little goes a long way!
Arbico Organics is a mail order company based in Tucson and we can get the Organic Compost Plus by the truckload, we mix it in with our soil whenever we plant something. If you purchase a smaller amount, you can soak some in water overnight and then use it as a compost tea and apply it as a foliar spray. You wouldn’t want to soak it more than a day though or you might kill some of the beneficial bacteria in it.
Here's something you can make yourself for very little cost, and it has a multitude of uses besides enhancing plant health and crop yield.
Garbage Enzyme is a complex solution produced by fermentation of fresh kitchen waste (fruits, vegetables), brown sugar or molasses, and water, at a concentration of 1 part sugar, 3 parts kitchen waste, and 10 parts water.
It can be used as a natural fertilizer and insecticide as well as a household cleaner, body care enhancer, etc.
More information is contained in the following PDF files: