Sorry - can't tell you for sure what kind of rocks those are - cause I don't know for sure.
I do know this for sure the hollow where I got those rock chips out from under that big chunk rock is just full of big rock out croppings just like that and the soil is full of those rock chips.
BIG and very healthy seng grows there with very nice roots too.
The hollow is named Rocky Hollow a few seasons ago me and my partner went in that hollow and in 5 hours brought out 6 lbs 3 oz of green seng. Most I have ever dug in one day by far. And just about every time the seng digger went in it was chinking on that flaky rocky stuff.
We found some patches of 30-40 big 4 & 3 prongs that were bunched up very tightly so disease sure did not seem to be a problem.
I just sprinkled that gypsum on top of that bed like I did the rocky soil I added and then worked it up with a hoe mixing it all into the top 2-3 inches of the soil.
It has not rained since I did that and I may just get out there this evening and water that bed good since I will be hunting some seng this weekend and if lucky may have a few nice roots to plant in there.
I agree that a good watering needs to be done before you plant your new roots into the bed. Especially if you added the Epson Salt that you mentioned earlier. Plus the water will help settle everything around the rock chips.
You could also add a small amount of Triple Phosphate (0-46-0) to stimulate root growth. Be careful not to add too much, half a pound on that size of a bed would be very generous. If you want to stay more organic, you can use Rock Phosphate. Rock Phosphate is in its natural state and will deliver a low dose over a very long time.
I will have to look into that rock phosphate - giving a low dose over a long time would be ideal. I wonder though if that 30 gal of rocky/soil I put in there will accomplish the same thing.
I have already added 2 lbs of bone meal - rated 6/9/0 - so don't plan to add anything else just now.
I am a organic gardner and use nothing but my own homemade compost, bone meal, blood meal and epson salt in my garden.
Everything grows very well - some huge bragging size tomatoes !
Oh - another thing - I have a bunch of gypsum board stored away in a upstairs store room - several pieces that were left over after we finished building our new house (back in 2000).
I am going to take some of those pieces and break/chop them up into small pieces (say half/dollar size) and put several of those on top of the bed. I read on another site that you can do that and it will add calcium slowly over time - basically each time it rains that gypsum board will slowly disolve and add gypsum/calcium to the soil.
Here is something that may be helpful for what level to shoot for with the Phosphate. And how it's necessary for the take up of calcium.
This is from Scott Persons first book \"Green Gold\"
\"The other soil nutrient that ginseng growers should monitor is phosphorus. In 1978, Dr. Tom Konsler initiated a four-year study to measure ginseng root growth response to P additions to the low P soils found at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station in Fletcher, N. C. Dr. Konsler found positive correlation of root weight with phosphorus additions. He also found that ginseng plants took up calcium more readily in soils that had available phosphorus so the interrelationship is important (Konsler, 1990). Growers should amend their low P soils so that at least 95 pounds per acre of actual phosphorus is available (Persons, 1994).
Since there is no tillage of the soil with wild simulated ginseng crops, all fertilizers are applied on the soil surface. Applications of gypsum and/or rock phosphate may have to be made every two or three years. Soil testing should be done every year to monitor available soil nutrients.\"
Can't wait to get my soil test back. I actually sent off two. One from the hollow/hillside here close to my house where I have that seed producing bed started and another from another hollow (the next hollow over) on my place here where I will be growing some.
When I took the soil samples I noticed that the second hollow seemed to have more rocky/sandy soil than the one closer to home here.
Our Basic soil test cost 7.00 and includes - Water PH, P, K, Ca, Mg, Lime and Fertilizer recommendations based on crop code submitted and GIN (Ginseng) was one of the codes available.
It will be interesting to see what they recommend and to see what my Ca and P levels are.
Hopefully in another week or so I will get the results back.
The soil tests are are well worth the price and the wait.
It's also fun to compare old tests with new ones, to see exactly how much you have made your soil change.
Where I send my soil for testing, they do not have a code for Ginseng. So you hand write it in. Most of the time their recommendations have been helpful and correct. Like adding Gypsum. But I had one test come back which recommended to raise the calcium and the ph with lime and a 10-10-10 fertilizer. I did not follow that recommendation. Instead I added only Gypsum. That was three years ago and I'm happy with the results.
I guess just use your knowlege and common sense when it comes to their recommendations.
Note - when I planted that lil root that is now a small 3 prong I did not ammend the soil at all, just basically made a small hole and poked the lil 2 prong root in there and then mashed the dirt down around it good and put some leaf mulch on top.
Since it has done this well - and my seed bed is on down the hill another 30 feet, think that is a good sign that my seed bed will be in an OK location.
Below is what my seed bed looks like after working that 30 lbs (6 - 5 gal buckets) of that rocky/mineral rich soil into place.