To improve our understanding of early microbial colonization of pristine minerals and their group-specific C utilization, we exposed minerals (illite/goethite/quartz) amended with artificial root exudates (ARE, glucose, and citric acid) in grassland soils for a period of 24 weeks. FTIR spectra indicated that mineral-associated ARE were used within the first 2 weeks of exposure and were replaced by other carbohydrates derived from living or dead cells as well as soil-borne C sources transported into the mineralosphere after heavy rain events. Fungi and Gram-positive bacteria incorporated ARE-derived C more rapidly than Gram-negative bacteria. Gram-negative bacteria presumably profited indirectly from the ARE by cross-feeding on mineral-associated necromass of fungi and Gram-positive bacteria. The Gram-negative bacterial phyla Verrucomicrobia, Planctomycetes, Gemmatimonadetes, Armatimonadetes, and Chloroflexi showed a positive correlation with Gram-negative PLFA abundances. After 24 weeks of exposure in the grassland soils, abundances of soil microorganisms in the mineralosphere reached only 3.1% of the population density in soil. In conclusion, both bacteria and fungi slowly colonize new surfaces such as pristine minerals, but quickly assimilate artificial root exudates, creating an active microbial community in the mineralosphere.