What Is Greensand: Tips For Using Glauconite Greensand In Gardens

Bag Of Greensand
(Image credit: Gardening Know How)

Soil improvements are necessary for rich, organic soil that percolates well and provides bountiful nutrients to your garden plants. Greensand soil supplement is beneficial for improving the mineral content of your soil. What is greensand? Greensand is a natural mineral harvested from ancient ocean floors. It is widely available at many of the better nursery centers. The high quantity of minerals gives the gritty mix a greenish color and its name.

What is Greensand?

Oceans once covered many areas of the earth. As the seas receded, they left behind nutrient-rich marine beds (these deposits harden into layers of minerals) where rich sediment is harvested from the sandy rock for garden soil amendment. Greensand fertilizer is a rich source of glauconite, which is high in iron, potassium, and magnesium. These components are all important to good plant health. It also helps loosen soil, improve moisture retention, soften hard water, and increase root growth. Greensand soil supplement has been marketed over 100 years but has actually been used for centuries.

Using Glauconite Greensand

Greensand provides a slow and gentle release of minerals, which protects plants from the classic root burn that many stronger fertilizers can cause. Using glauconite greensand as a soil conditioner provides a gentle source of potassium in a 0-0-3 ratio. It can contain up to 30 different trace minerals, all of which enrich the soil and are easy for plants to uptake. One of the biggest benefits of greensand is its ability to break up clay soils, which increases drainage and allows oxygen into the soil. The exact amounts of greensand garden application will vary depending upon what manufacturer produces the compound. Some manufacturers will add sand to the mixture, which may impact the strength of the product. The condition of your soil will also dictate how much greensand fertilizer is necessary for maximum effectiveness.

Greensand Garden Application Method

Greensand must be broken down in soil and is not water soluble. As a general rule, mix 2 cups (473 ml.) into the soil around each plant or tree. For broadcast application, the average rate is 50 to 100 pounds (23-45 kg.) per 1,000 feet (305 m.) of soil. The product is organically certified and the green color from the glauconite helps absorb sun and warm soils earlier in spring. The gritty texture is able to soak up more moisture than garden sand and conserve it for plant roots. Greensand soil supplement is easy to use and gentle for even the most sensitive plants. Apply in early spring as either a soil amendment or simply a good all-purpose fertilizer.

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.