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Organics Made Easy pty ltd

Organics Made Easy pty ltd

Creating a greener, cleaner future

What is Palagonite?

Palagonite is a natural soil conditioner that was created through a rare geological process that involved the interaction between water and hot flowing basalt lava. OME sources Palagonite from a fresh water lake in which underlying diatomaceous earth had recently accumulated. The quenched lava formed rinds of volcanic glass that over time were devitrified to amorphous compounds and non-swelling smectite clay. This process is called palagonisation and the chemical characteristics of the alteration products produced by this process are particularly exciting for their potential applications in agriculture, particularly horticulture.

NSW Distributors 

Organics Made Easy Pty Ltd

A3 5-7 Hepher Rd

Application

Application rates will vary but, when using Palagonite for the first time a generous application is normally recommended. Because the minerals in Palagonite will break down at a slower rate than with chemical fertilisers the aim is to create a reserve of the beneficial elements for the soil microbes and fungi to access as required. For the back yard vegetable gardener the optimum rate is around 1 kilogram per square metre in conjunction with a comparable amount of compost. For tree planting you may consider higher rates of application. In an example of a commercial horticulture practice, apply Palagonite in conjunction with composted chicken manure at 12 tonnes/ Ha. (6 tonnes of Palagonite and 6 tonnes of composted manure).

Comparing Palagonite with liming programmes

Liming is the application of calcium and magnesium rich carbonates and hydroxides (usually limestone and dolomite) to soils to neutralise soil acidity and increase activity of soil bacteria. Ag Lime is ground calcium carbonate that reacts with acids thereby increasing the pH of the soil and returning it towards a neutral pH at 7. As an undesirable consequence every tonne of lime that is neutralised through the application, 400 kilograms of carbon dioxide escapes into the atmosphere. Palagonite contains plentiful amounts of plant available calcium and magnesium and although the levels do not compare with Ag lime and dolomite, the retention of the macro and micronutrients in acidic soils will over time lead to improvements in soil quality which would be unobtainable with liming alone. Repeated applications of Palagonite blended with composted organic matter should lead to long term improvements in the pH of the soil and overall improvement in soil health. Palagonite itself has a pH ranging from 8 to 8.5. Using Palagonite consequently provides a longer term solution to soil acidification. A mixture of Palagonite and Ag lime can also be used where a more rapid pH adjustment is required.