Organic gardeners use fertilizer applications of a bone meal when following organic gardening methods.
It’s easy to use and adds phosphorous to the soil. Phosphorous helps to produce strong roots, with increased fruit and flower development.
What Is Bone Meal For Plants?
As the name implies, the bone meal comes from ground animal bones.
Usually, beef bones. However, other types of animals like fish bone meal or fish emulsion can be used to prepare bonemeal 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 meat of these animals is tested for the disease. They will not be used for food or fertilizer if they test positive.
Also, the process the bones go through to become a powder (not a liquid plant food) kills off any pathogens that would carry the disease.
Meal Uses & Why Use It?
What is bone meal used for? The fertilizer adds an excellent source of phosphorus and calcium to the garden soil. Most commercial fertilizers made of bone on the market today have a 3-15-0 NPK ratio.
Phosphorus helps plants build strong root systems. It also helps increase flower and fruit development.
Before adding bonemeal for plants to your soil, always check the soil pH levels.
If the pH levels are above 7, make any adjustments before adding a bone meal. 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 are low in phosphorus. The steamed meal helps to balance this out in the soil.
Learn more about –> Blood Meal Fertilizer
Bone Meal Excellent Organic Fertilizer For The Garden
When gardening organically, fertilizers need a variety of fungi in the soil to make nutrients available to the plant.
What Does Organic Bone Meal Do For Plants?
By increasing the phosphorus in the soil, the meal powder works with other organic matter to ensure a more prolific root growth, winter hardiness, and often hastens maturity.
A slow-release fertilizer like bone meal helps the plant to take in other required nutrients plants need to produce more.
Organic bonemeal powder increases the beneficial soil microbes that encourage plant growth. The result? A healthier, more prolific plant that all gardeners love.
How To Use Fertilizer Bone Meal Powder?
- Add bone meal to the soil at the rate of 10 pounds to 100 square feet. The phosphorous is released slowly for up to 4 months.
- Adding bonemeal 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 planting hole when planting.
- Apply bone meal to the compost pile – follow the fertilizer label
Sprinkle about half of a cup of bonemeal over the roots of a plant before the spring growing season, and buds begin 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 you use a bone meal. If soil pH levels are off, don’t add any until the soil is appropriately amended to your needs.
The bonemeal 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.
What Plants Like Bonemeal Applications?
Below is a list of plants that like the extra phosphorous bonemeal provides. Learn more about each of the plants by following the provided links.
- Daffodils Narcissus
- Sweet Pea
- Garden Tulip
- Tomato fertilizer
- Outdoor Palms
- Roses (naturally)
- Moonflower Vine
- Bottle Brush
- Foxtail lilies
- Oriental Lilies – More on fertilizing lilies
- Passion Flower
- Rocket Ligularia
- Clematis vines
- Many Succulent Types – add it to succulent potting mixes
- Cyclamen Flowering Plants