Bone Meal Fertilizer: How To Use Bonemeal In The Garden

Gardener’s frequently use bone meal fertilizer, when they want to adhere to organic gardening methods. It’s easy to use, adds phosphorous in the soil which helps producing strong roots, with increased fruit and flower development.

bone meal fertilizer

What Is Bone Meal Fertilizer?

As the name implies, bone meal comes from ground up animal bones. Usually, beef bones, however, other types of animals like fish bone meal can be used to prepare bone meal fertilizer.

Because much of the bonemeal fertilizer comes from beef, many worry about getting Mad Cow Disease from handling the fertilizer. It’s not possible. All animals are tested for mad cow disease, if they test positive they will not be used for food or fertilizer.

Also, the process bone meal goes through to become a powder (not a liquid fertilizer) will quickly kill off any pathogens that would carry the disease in the first place.

Why Use It On Plants?

Bone meal adds a source of phosphorus to the garden soil. Most commercial bone meal fertilizers on the market today have a 3-15-0 NPK ratio. Phosphorus helps plants build a strong root system along with increased flower and fruit development.

Before adding bone meal to your soil, always check the soil pH levels. If the levels are above 7, make any adjustments before you add bone meal fertilizer. This helps ensure the Organic fertilizer will be available to plants and work properly.

It’s perfect for balancing the higher nitrogen found in many organic soil amendments. Manure and grasses often have large amounts of nitrogen but low in phosphorus. The steamed bone meal helps to balance this out in the soil.

Bone Meal Excellent For The Organic Garden

There are many fertilizer options for gardens. If a gardener wants to use organic fertilizers, steamed bone meal, and organic cottonseed meal fertilizers are all ideal methods of going organic.

When gardening organically, fertilizers need a variety of fungi in the soil to make nutrients available to the plant. By increasing the phosphorous in the soil, bone meal works with other organic matter to ensure a more prolific root growth, winter hardiness and often hastens maturity.

A slow-release fertilizer bone meal like this helps the plant to take in other required nutrients that help plants produce more. Bonemeal increases the beneficial soil microbes that encourage plant growth. The result? A healthier, more prolific plant that all gardeners love.

How To Use Bone Meal Fertilizer?

  • Add bone meal to the soil at the rate of 10 pounds to 100 square feet. The phosphorous releases slowly for up to 4 months.
  • Adding bone meal to your garden is easy.
  • Add it to the soil before planting anything to help to nourish the plant.
  • Add a few tablespoons into the bottom of the hole before planting.
  • Add bone meal to the compost pile – follow the fertilizer label

Sprinkle about half of a cup of bone meal over the roots of a plant before the spring buds making their appearance (this can also be done after planting).

Bone meal also adds other nutrients added to the soil such as nitrogen. Always read your label carefully and be sure to test your soil before using bone meal. If soil pH levels are off, don’t add any until the soil is appropriately amended to your needs.

The bone meal fertilizer won’t burn plants or harm your garden if you follow the directions. Wait for at least four months between applications since bone meal takes that long to break down in the soil. You don’t want to overdo it either.

Video on the Disadvantages Of A Bone Meal Fertilizer Application

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