“The yield of a crop is LIMITED by the deficiency of any one element even though all of the other necessary elements are present in adequate amounts”.
J. Von Leibig's Law of the minimum.
The soil is the most important part of gardening. Building a good soil is 90 percent of the battle. A good soil will be able to let the roots grow and draw in all the nutrition it can. So how do we start? That is the big question. Everybody has their own soil mix.
A garden soil mix which I use is peat moss, compost, vermiculite and the local soil here which is sand and clay. I like adding lots of rock dust, there are a few to choose from at a good nursery, at my nursery http://www.plantfairnursery.com/ I can get Azomite. http://www.azomite.com They have a nice web site with great information. I have used it and I love it. It also works great in your watering cans for around the house a tablespoon of azomite desolved in your watering can really does amazing things for your house plants. But for larger spots in your garden that can become a little pricey.
Your local rock quarry is the place to go, don't laugh, I get what they call "fine millings" for about 20 bucks a ton, it's not a bad deal. There are several rock quarries in my area. I get a volcanic cinder that has been crushed as fine as sand. Another quarry not to far away has granite, I also try to get it as fine as sand as I can. I sprinkle a light layer on top of the bed.
Rock dust is digested by earthworms and thereby combined with organic matter containing nitrogen, carbon, minerals and thousands of microorganisms, ultimately becoming organic mineral-rich plant food. The process is known as remineralization or to remineralize.
Gravel dust improves aeration and structure and therefore prevents rotting. Gravel dust is assimilated even more quickly in compost than in poor soils.Compost and gravel dust are a symbiotic combination: the compost provides an excellent medium for the "microorganism population explosion" promoted by the dust, and the gravel dust will not only help create more organic matter, but will also help hold it in place, reduce odors and conserve it.
Soil needs to have everything a way to hold moisture but also to drain. Good structure but loose enough for the roots to roam. Good nutrition and lots of minerals A.K.A rock dust... that is a huge secret in gardening. It seems like the more rock dust I put in the better my garden does and once its in you will have a better garden by far . So, for you folks that have hit a wall and want try something a little different get a little rock dust in your garden....Don't be shy ten to twenty percent of your soil can be rock dust so lay it down heavy...your plants will love it.A wealth of information on rock dust can be found at http://remineralize.org/ I highly recommend there site wonderful material on rock dust.