Best Sources of Trace Elements For The Lawn

It is well documented that having soil that contains a wide variety of trace elements, otherwise known as trace nutrients and minerals, results in better quality turf with lower amounts of fertilization rates.

These minerals are in addition to the macro nutrients and micronutrients that are easily purchased in bags and bottles of fertilizer everywhere. Here is a video I made a while back explaining the difference between trace elements and micronutrients.

I have historically used two dry products to apply trace nutrients to my lawn, Azomite and Greensand. Both of which have their advantages and disadvantages in using.

Azomite is a dusty dirty product that can be micronized like sand and applied with a spreader. If you do this, you’ll be walking around in a cloud of dust while most falls straight to the ground. This stuff works its way into the soils much faster, but you do get way dirtier, and you lose a bit to the wind.

Azomite can also be purchased as a granule that is still dusty but it’s much more tolerable. Spreading it can be much easier, but the material works its way into the soil profile and becomes available for plant systems far slower due to the size of the granules which are basically little, tiny rocks.

Greensand is another great option, but it only comes in a very natural sandy form, like fine polishing sand for rock tumblers. This product is also hard to spread but despite being sandy it’s much cleaner to work with.

The Greensand actually has fewer trace minerals in it compared to Azomite but at around 40 minerals it’s still way far above and beyond any nutrient load found in a micronutrient fertilizer.

For pure ease of application, I’ve found a liquid product called black gold that can be applied via a hose end sprayer. I’ll be using this on my side yard of baby KBG in addition to a starter fertilizer application. The benefit of using Black gold is the ease of use and cleanliness of application but the downside is it is more expensive per thousand square feet compared to both Azomite and Greensand and the elemental load is less dense. There are fewer nutrients in Black Gold than greensand but still a lot more than the 11 essential micronutrients plants need.

You could also use just about any brand of concentrated worm tea in a liquid spay tank. Worm tea is arguably more natural since it’s just processed worm poo and it is way more cost effective than using Black Gold. I already have Black Gold, so I’ll be using that in the future, but I’ll be experimenting with worm tea from time to time.