Organic gardeners 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 to produce strong roots, with increased fruit and flower development.
What Is Bone Meal Fertilizer?
As the name implies, 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 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 meat of these animals is tested for mad cow disease if they test positive they will not be used for food or fertilizer.
Bone Meal Uses & Why Use It?
So, what is bone meal used for?
Bone meal adds an excellent source of phosphorus and calcium 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 for plants to your soil, always check the soil pH levels.
If the levels are above 7, make any adjustments before you add steamed 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 low in phosphorus. The steamed bone meal helps to balance this out in the soil.
Learn more about –> Blood Meal Fertilizer
Bone Meal Excellent For The Organic Garden
When gardening organically, fertilizers need a variety of fungi in the soil to make nutrients available to the plant.
By increasing the phosphorus 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.
Organic bone meal for gardens 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 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 Bone Meal Fertilizer?
Below is a list of plants that like the extra phosphorous bone meal fertilizer 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 soil
- Cyclamen Flowering Plants