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  • Writer's pictureJere Folgert

Garlic Gold: How Azomite Fertilizer Can Unlock Your Garlic's Potential

Updated: May 17

Garlic Gold: Unleashing the Power of Azomite for Bigger, Bolder Bulbs

For those who truly appreciate the magic of hardneck garlic, there's a secret weapon you can use to make your garlic even better: Azomite. Picture this: your garlic cloves bursting with flavor, each clove plump and potent – that's the dream, right? Well, with Azomite by your side, that dream can become a delicious reality. Azomite isn't your average organic garden supplement; it's a treasure trove of trace minerals and micronutrients that garlic plants adore. Let's break it down: Azomite contains a smorgasbord of essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and phosphorus – all crucial for healthy plant growth. But it doesn't stop there! This mineral cocktail also boasts a lineup of trace elements like zinc, copper, and manganese, which play vital roles in garlic's development, from root to leaves to bulb to cloves.


Discover Azomite, the volcanic rock superhero your soil's been craving! This magical mineral medley, forged in the earth's fiery belly, is a game-changer for garlic growers. Imagine a microscopic buffet for your plants, bursting with over 50 essential minerals, all naturally occurring, organic, and ready to unlock your garden's true potential. Azomite is like a personal trainer for your plants, helping them reach their full potential with increased vigor, disease resistance, and – wait for it – even tastier garlic. Azomite, short for "A to Z of Minerals Including Trace Elements," is found in a unique geological formation known as the Sevier Desert.


Sounds like: zuh·mite


Move over miracle-gro, because Azomite is here to unleash the hidden potential within your garlic patch. 

This isn't your average fertilizer, it's a volcanic rockstar with a prehistoric pedigree.


When it comes to fertilizing crops, most folks think about the big three: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK). But there's more to the story. Plants need a whole slew of trace minerals to thrive and reach their full potential. That's where Azomite swoops in to save the day. It's a natural source of all these goodies, straight from the Utah desert, and it's even certified organic. If you are a garlic farmer looking to boost your crop yields or just a curious soul fascinated by the wonders of nature, Azomite might just be your new best friend. Go ahead, give it a try, and let the magic of minerals do their thing.

From Molten Depths to Modern Gardens: The Curious Origins of Azomite

Azomite's story begins millions of years ago, when a fiery volcanic eruption blanketed an ancient seabed. Over time, a unique synergy occurred. The volcanic ash mingled with mineral-rich seawater and rivers carrying trace elements, creating a remarkable deposit we now call Azomite. Fast forward to the present day, this volcanic rock is mined in Utah and transformed into a fine powder, ready to invigorate your garden. While we can't say for certain if Azomite directly fueled the colossal size of dinosaurs, it does contain a treasure trove of over 50 trace minerals! These are the same minerals that were vital for plant life during the reign of the giants, and they're still essential for healthy plant growth today. Think of it as a complete vitamin pack for your garlic, fruits, and flowers.



Application: Can You Overdo It with Azomite?

While Azomite is a natural product, it's always best to follow the recommended application rates.  Azomite is a slow-release mineral amendment, so exceeding recommended amounts likely won't cause immediate harm, but it can be wasteful.  Generally, following the instructions on the Azomite package ensures you're providing the adequate amount for your plants' needs. There are 3 or more different types of Azomite, each with its own super powers:

  • Granular Azomite: This is the easiest to spread and is perfect for garlic, vegetable gardens and even lawns and around trees.  One 50-pound bag can cover a whopping 12,000 square feet!  Just sprinkle it around your plants and rake it in.

  • Slow-release powdered Azomite: This is great for fruit trees and can be added directly to your compost pile or potting mix.  You can even give your seedlings a little extra boost by adding a few teaspoons to the hole when you plant them.

  • Micronized Azomite: This is the Usain Bolt of Azomite because it's super fine and can be used as a foliar spray, which is like a superhero suit for your plants!  It helps them fight off bugs and diseases.  Micronized Azomite is also great for starting seeds and transplanting because the nutrients are readily available to the plants.


A Mineral Buffet for Thriving Plants

So, what exactly are these magical trace minerals that Azomite boasts? The list is impressive – think boron for strong cell walls, manganese for photosynthesis, and molybdenum for nitrogen fixation. These minerals work together to create a symphony of health within your plants, boosting their immune systems, promoting better root growth, and even enhancing flavor and bulbs and clove production. The presence of calcium and magnesium in Azomite can contribute to the formation of larger, plumper garlic cloves. Additionally, Azomite's overall mineral boost can enhance the hardneck garlic's resistance to disease, a common concern for these robust beauties. For Hardneck garlic, a favorite among adventurous gardeners, can definitely benefit from Azomite's magic touch. 


Azomite is a natural mineral product mined from ancient volcanic ash deposits. While the exact composition may vary slightly depending on the specific source, Azomite typically contains a wide range of trace minerals beneficial for plant growth. Here are just some of the key trace minerals found in Azomite and their potential roles in promoting plant health:


  1. Silicon (Si): Enhances plant cell wall structure, leading to improved resistance against pests and diseases. It also aids in the uptake of other nutrients.

  2. Calcium (Ca): Essential for cell wall formation, root development, and enzyme activity. It helps regulate nutrient uptake and supports overall plant structure and growth.

  3. Iron (Fe): Necessary for chlorophyll synthesis, which is crucial for photosynthesis and overall plant vitality. Iron deficiency can lead to yellowing of leaves (chlorosis) and reduced growth.

  4. Magnesium (Mg): A component of chlorophyll molecules, essential for photosynthesis and energy transfer within the plant. It also plays a role in enzyme activation and nutrient uptake.

  5. Potassium (K): Regulates water uptake and retention, enhances disease resistance, and promotes overall plant vigor. Potassium is crucial for flower and fruit formation.

  6. Sulfur (S): Important for the synthesis of amino acids, proteins, and enzymes. It also contributes to the formation of chlorophyll and aids in nitrogen utilization.

  7. Phosphorus (P): Essential for energy transfer within the plant, promoting root development, flower, and fruit formation. Phosphorus is a key component of nucleic acids and ATP, vital for plant metabolism.

  8. Boron (B): Facilitates cell division, carbohydrate metabolism, and nutrient uptake. Boron also plays a role in pollen germination and fruit development.

  9. Zinc (Zn): Necessary for enzyme activation, hormone regulation, and protein synthesis. Zinc deficiency can lead to stunted growth and reduced yields.

  10. Manganese (Mn): Essential for photosynthesis, enzyme activation, and nitrogen metabolism. Manganese deficiency can cause chlorosis and negatively impact plant growth.

  11. Copper (Cu): Required for photosynthesis, respiration, and enzyme activity. Copper deficiency can lead to wilting, leaf distortion, and reduced plant vigor.

  12. Molybdenum (Mo): Aids in nitrogen fixation and enzyme activity, particularly in legumes. Molybdenum deficiency can result in poor nitrogen utilization and reduced growth.

  13. Cobalt (Co): Essential for nitrogen fixation in legumes, serving as a component of vitamin B12. Cobalt deficiency can impair plant growth and nitrogen metabolism in some species.


These are just some of the trace minerals found in Azomite and their potential roles in promoting plant growth. Each mineral contributes to various physiological processes within plants, supporting overall health, development, and productivity.


Azomite: A Sustainable Choice for Gardeners

Not only is Azomite effective, it's also an eco-friendly option for your garden. It's a completely natural product, mined and processed without harmful chemicals. By replenishing essential minerals in your soil, Azomite helps create a healthier, more sustainable growing environment for years to come. If you are ready to unleash the volcanic power in your garden? Give Azomite a try and watch your plants transform from lackluster to legendary. Remember, it's not just a soil amendment – it's a prehistoric power-up for your favorite greenery.


Azomite: A Dive into History

Once upon a time, about thirty million years ago, there was quite the volcanic spectacle. Picture this: bubbling magma beneath the Earth's surface causing immense pressure, until finally, a mountain's side couldn't take it anymore. Boom! The side burst open, unleashing a torrent of ash into the air. This ash didn't just dissipate; it settled and formed a thick layer of supercharged volcanic ash on the ground. Then, the rains came, mixing with the ash and turning it into a rock-like substance packed with minerals. Fast forward a bit, and this mineral-rich rock found itself at the bottom of the sea, thanks to some geographical shuffling. Over time, the sea retreated, leaving behind what geologists call a "hogback" – basically a fancy term for a hill loaded with minerals.


Native Americans caught wind of these special rocks and their supposed healing powers. People traveled from far and wide to gather bits of the pink-hued rocks, believing they could work wonders for their crops and even their health. Legend has it they'd crush the rocks into powder and sprinkle it in their planting holes, especially when sowing maize.


Jumping ahead to the 1930s, a guy named Rollin Anderson heard these tales and thought, "Hmm, sounds intriguing." So, he traded the city life for the quiet of Utah and started mining these rocks. He wasn't alone; local farmers backed him up, swearing by the magic of the minerals. Anderson put these claims to the test and found out they weren't just tall tales – there really was something special about these rocks.



Unearthing Azomite: Utah's Hidden Gem for Greener Gardens

But how exactly is Azomite unearthed, processed, and packaged for the eager green thumbs of the world? Let's embark on a journey to uncover the secrets behind this extraordinary substance.


Mining Marvels: The Quest for Azomite

Our adventure begins in the heart of Utah's majestic landscapes, where miners brave the elements to extract Azomite from its ancient resting place. Azomite, short for "A to Z of Minerals Including Trace Elements," is found in a unique geological formation known as the Sevier Desert. Here, layers of volcanic ash and sea minerals dating back millions of years provide the perfect recipe for Azomite's formation. Miners employ a blend of traditional and modern techniques to access this precious resource. Large-scale excavation equipment clears away layers of earth to reveal the Azomite-rich deposits below. Once uncovered, the mineral-bearing rock is carefully extracted and transported to processing facilities for the next stage of its journey.


Crushing the Competition: From Rock to Powder

At the processing plant, the Azomite-rich rock undergoes a transformational journey. Massive crushers reduce the rock into fine powder, unlocking its mineral bounty. This crushing process ensures that Azomite's nutrients are readily accessible to plants, promoting robust growth and vibrant blooms. To maintain the integrity of the product, rigorous quality control measures are employed throughout the crushing and pulverization process. Samples are regularly tested to ensure consistency and purity, guaranteeing that gardeners receive only the finest Azomite for their soil.


Packaging Perfection: Bringing Azomite to Gardens Near and Far

Once pulverized, Azomite is ready to embark on its final adventure – packaging. Specialized equipment carefully fills bags with the powdered mineral, sealing in its potent goodness. These bags are then labeled, boxed, and prepared for distribution to eager gardeners worldwide. But amidst the excitement of bringing Azomite to gardens far and wide, one question looms large – is this practice sustainable?


Sustainability: Nurturing Gardens Without Harming the Earth

While the extraction and processing of Azomite undoubtedly offer immense benefits to gardeners, concerns about sustainability linger. Mining operations, albeit carefully managed, can have environmental impacts, including habitat disruption and landscape alteration. Additionally, the energy-intensive process of crushing and packaging Azomite contributes to carbon emissions, albeit to a lesser extent compared to other industrial activities. To mitigate these concerns, responsible mining practices and eco-friendly processing methods are essential. Many Azomite mining operations prioritize reclamation efforts, restoring mined areas to their natural state once extraction is complete. Furthermore, advancements in renewable energy and efficiency measures can help reduce the environmental footprint of processing facilities, ensuring that Azomite remains a sustainable choice for gardeners for generations to come.


Potential Drawbacks: Navigating the Terrain

Despite its numerous benefits, Azomite is not without its drawbacks. While rich in essential minerals and trace elements, it's crucial to note that Azomite is not a cure-all solution for all soil deficiencies. Overapplication of Azomite or reliance solely on this mineral supplement can lead to nutrient imbalances in the soil, potentially harming plant health rather than enhancing it. Additionally, Azomite's effectiveness can vary depending on soil composition and pH levels, requiring careful consideration and monitoring by gardeners. Moreover, as with any mineral supplement, there is the potential for contaminants to be present in Azomite deposits. While stringent quality control measures are in place to minimize this risk, gardeners should exercise caution and conduct soil tests before applying Azomite to their gardens.



The Garlic Growth Story: From Seed to Savory Bulb

Now, let's take a journey through the garlic growth cycle and discover how Azomite works its magic at every stage:

  1. Root Development: As your garlic cloves begin their underground journey, Azomite provides the building blocks for robust root development. With ample access to essential minerals like potassium and iron, garlic roots delve deep into the soil, anchoring your seed garlic (garlic cloves planted in the autumn) securely and absorbing nutrients with gusto.

  2. Leafy Greens: As the garlic shoots emerge from the earth, Azomite steps in to ensure lush, verdant foliage. Its blend of micronutrients, including boron and molybdenum, supports vigorous leaf growth, allowing your garlic plants to photosynthesize like pros and gather the energy they need to thrive.

  3. Bulb Formation: Ah, here's where the magic truly happens – bulb formation. With Azomite's help, your garlic bulbs swell to impressive proportions, each layer packed with flavor and goodness. The calcium and sulfur in Azomite play pivotal roles in bulb development, promoting cell division and ensuring that your garlic bulbs reach their full potential.

  4. Cloves: Last but certainly not least, Azomite sets the stage for an beautiful, plump garlic cloves. Its rich array of trace minerals, from manganese to cobalt, enhances the flavor and aroma of your garlic, transforming each clove into a culinary masterpiece waiting to be unleashed in your favorite recipes.


In Conclusion: Cultivating a Greener Garden with Azomite

As we conclude our journey through the depths of Utah's Sevier Desert and the intricate processes of Azomite mining, crushing, and packaging, one thing becomes abundantly clear – Azomite is a true marvel of nature. From its humble beginnings as ancient volcanic ash to its transformation into a potent garden supplement, Azomite embodies the resilience and beauty of the natural world. While challenges exist in ensuring the sustainability and responsible use of Azomite, its potential to nourish and enrich soil far outweighs these concerns. With careful stewardship and a commitment to eco-friendly practices, we can harness the power of Azomite to cultivate greener, more bountiful gardens while safeguarding the precious ecosystems that sustain us all. As you embark on your garlic-growing journey, remember this: Azomite isn't just a garden supplement – it's a game-changer. With its nutrient-rich formula and unparalleled commitment to plant health, Azomite elevates your garlic crop to new heights of deliciousness and distinction.



GroEat Farm, LLC is a small, independently-owned grower and supplier of premium quality hardneck garlic (seed and culinary).    We provide exceptional quality hardneck garlic to nurseries,  market growers, home garden enthusiasts, chefs, and anyone else looking for better hardneck garlic.

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GroEat Farm, LLC is a small, sustainable family farm located in Bozeman, Montana.  We’re located in the beautiful Hyalite foothills, below the Gallatin Mountain Range.  The hardneck varieties that grow at our farm (Ophioscorodon) flourish here, due to the combination of the cold winters, temperate summers, moist spring, and the dynamic alluvial soils, washed down from the Gallatin Range (comprised of Archean metamorphics, Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks, and Eocene volcanics).  Not only are the GroEat Hardneck garlic healthy and beautiful, the flavor’s are robust and delicate. Our mission at GroEat Farm, LLC is to grow premium hardneck garlic, preserve garlic varieties for the future (through propagation), and to provide others with the opportunity to grow garlic from our seed.   We help home gardeners, chefs, small-scale commercial growers, gardeners, plant nurseries, and anyone else looking for better hardneck garlic.  We are continuing a very long tradition of growing quality gourmet and seed hardneck garlic.   




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