As a gardener, you want your plants to grow tall and strong. To do this, you probably need to improve your health with some kind of fertilizer. This article deals with an effective but unusual fertilizer: bone meal.
Bone meal is not only organic, but also full of nutrients. It mainly supplies phosphorus, one of the three primary plant nutrients, but also calcium and nitrogen. A typical NPK rating for bone meal is 3-15-0, which is excellent for bulbs and flowering plants.
In my opinion, the best thing about bone meal is that it is environmentally friendly and organic. Use in your garden is easy and very safe. Read on to find out all about this fantastic fertilizer!
Good selection of bone meals:
What is bone meal?
Bone meal supports root development, flowering and fruiting.
Bone meal is just that – bone. It is usually obtained from cows as a by-product of slaughter. The bones are steamed to sterilize them and then ground. It is sold as a powder or processed into pellets or liquids. It may sound rough, but considering how organic material decomposes naturally to feed plants in nature, it makes perfect sense. With this useful change, you simply give your plants the kind of changes that they used before the development of modern fertilizers.
Not surprisingly, bone meal is often mistaken for or associated with blood meal. There are two main differences. First, blood meal is made from dehydrated blood. On the other hand, it mostly supplies nitrogen instead of phosphorus. Even though the two are similar in that they are both animal products, they are not interchangeable.
What nutrients are in bone meal?
As previously mentioned, bone meal fertilizers mainly provide phosphorus (the P in NPK). This is an essential nutrient for plants as it helps them grow.
Phosphorus is the nutrient that builds strong bones in humans and animals. When these bones eventually decompose, they release the phosphorus into the soil where plants can use it. Then the phosphorus helps the plants to build healthy stems, leaves, flowers and seeds instead of bones. In some cases, the plants are then eaten by animals or humans, which means that the phosphorus (among other things) is used again to strengthen the bones.
Plants rely on phosphorus to enable photosynthesis, growth and reproduction (flowers and fruits). It also plays other roles in cellular respiration, DNA, RNA, and energy transfer. In short, your plants will not survive without phosphorus. To learn more about why this nutrient and others are so important, read our article on phytonutrients.
This garden fertilizer also provides a good amount of calcium and some nitrogen. However, it is often used primarily for phosphorus, and calcium or nitrogen are an additional benefit for garden soil.
Benefits of bone meal
Apply bone meal before planting to give the plants a phosphorus boost. Source: garden soul
As already mentioned, bone meal is ideal for growing plants. The fun doesn't stop there! Adding bone meal to your garden brings many other benefits, such as:
- Higher fruit and seed yield
- Stronger root structure for newly developing plants
- Promotes healthy, abundant growth
- Helps ward off pests and diseases
- Stimulates large, beautiful flowers
Bone meal is an exceptional organic fertilizer for flowering plants such as roses and amaryllis. It also promotes the growth of alliums like garlic, leek and onions. Organic bone meal is often used for lawn production because it helps young plants ripen quickly. It helps develop a denser root structure and provides calcium for the fruits of tomatoes. Overall, it is one of the products that most people should have ready for garden use!
Disadvantages of bone meal
Bone meal doesn't have too many disadvantages. As with any fertilizer, however, you should be aware of the negative possibilities. Here are some disadvantages of bone meal fertilizer:
- The release is slow so your plants don't get an instant boost
- This is not a balanced fertilizer. If your plants need additional nutrients, you need to apply another fertilizer along with the bone meal.
- If it is not properly mixed into the soil, the smell can attract scavengers. Store the bag in a safe place where animals cannot reach.
- Bone meal is only effective in soils with a pH below 7. Basic soil conditions reduce nutrient uptake.
By over-fertilizing with phosphorus, other important nutrients for plants such as iron and zinc can be excreted. Plants with too much phosphorus turn yellow and show symptoms of other nutrient deficiencies. Too much phosphorus can affect the chlorophyll production of the plant and lead to yellowed leaves (so-called chlorosis).
Most soils are quite capable of regulating phosphorus release, so there is little chance of over-fertilization. However, if your soil is not deficient in phosphorus, you should not add bone meal.
How to use bone meal
Before adding bone meal, exam Your floor to make sure it needs phosphorus. Otherwise there is a risk of over-fertilization, which can damage and / or kill your plants. Soil tests are usually offered at local agricultural universities and government agencies. You can also buy a soil test kit and do it yourself.
Together with a phosphorus deficiency, the soil must have a pH of 7 or below for this organic fertilizer to work properly. If your soil is more alkaline, treat the pH before adding bone meal.
A good rule of thumb is too apply one tablespoon per two square feet of soil (3 cups per 100 square feet). The quantities may vary depending on the brand used. Therefore, always read the instructions on the packaging first. When planting, mix the fertilizer with the backfill soil. If your plant is already in the ground, sprinkle the bone meal over it and then sprinkle it over the ground to mix it.
For onions and other spring flowering plants, also add bone meal. When planting in autumn, apply half a teaspoon and scrape it into the soil under the plant. You can add in spring again when you start adding to your spring and summer garden.
Lightly after application water the ground so that the bone meal can start to collapse. Nutrients are released over a period of four months.
Here is a short tip: Check the weather forecast before fertilizing. This is easiest to use when the conditions are dry and you can work it into the top layer of soil.
Where to buy bone meal
You can usually find bone meal online, in garden stores, and even at Walmart. Here are some of our top recommendations.
Bone fertilizer from Jobe
This is a granular bone meal. It is less dusty than other types during use, but has a larger particle size, which takes time to break down.
Miracle-Gro Nature & # 39; s Care organic bone meal
Miracle-Gro has an organic and highly rated bone meal. It is available in powder form for easy application and mixing.
Nectar for the herculean harvest of the gods Liquid bone meal
As a liquid form, this bone meal is ideal for use in hydroponics. It comes with a conversion table and a pipette.
frequently asked Questions
Q: How do I know if my plants need more phosphorus?
A: Symptoms of a phosphorus deficiency include stunted growth, delayed ripening and small fruit set. In addition, old leaves can turn purple before they die off. It is difficult to fix the consequences of a defect. The best thing you can do is identify these symptoms early and apply fertilizer immediately.
Q: Does bone meal carry mad cow disease?
A: No, it is a very safe fertilizer. The animals from which bone meal is made are also meat producers, so they are healthy and free from mad cow disease.
Q: Will bone meal pollute the water sources?
A: Excess phosphorus can be flushed into natural water sources and cause algae growth. This is usually only the case with water-soluble fertilizers. Bone meal generally cannot release too much phosphorus into the environment.
Q: Is bone meal fertilizer toxic?
A: Bone meal is not necessarily toxic, but it can cause gastrointestinal discomfort when consumed by humans or animals. If you have pets or children nearby, mix them well into the earth and keep the bag where it can't get to.
Q: Can bone meal be used in hydroponics?
A: Yes! Bone meal is a great solution if you want to do organic hydroponics. However, before you can use it, you need to calculate the nutrients and amount of bone meal needed. For some help, we have articles on hydroponic nutrient solutions and general hydroponic nutrients.
Are you ready to try this natural fertilizer? When used properly, adding bone meal may be the best thing you've ever done for your plants!
The green thumbs behind this article:
Last updated on 2020-01-29 / Partner Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API