Have you ever bought a gardening item that you thought had phosphorous but instead has bone meal fertilizer? Puzzled? Don’t be. Because this blog is going to talk exactly about that ingredient. Bone meal fertilizers is a nature’s product and is very effective for your soil as it can do wonders for your plants. Phosphorous provides strength to a plant and makes the grip of its roots stronger, and enhances its growing power. If a plant is deficient in this highly effective nutrient, then the overall growth of the plant can be affected or hindered.
So if you have been thinking about how to use a bone meal for soil plants, then you have landed on the right page, as this blog is going to tell you everything about it.
What is Bone Meal?
Bone meal is exactly what its name suggests. It is made up of crushed and ground-up animal bone. This organic fertilizer can be found in the form of a powder or a meal. Commonly, the bones will be beef, but it can vary according to the more commonly slaughtered meat. To use bone meal, it should first be steamed, as it releases nutrients that could be beneficial to plants and acquires a form that is easy to use. Steaming the bone meal is an essential step as it sterilizes it. While steaming, the bone meal clears itself from any pathogens it carries and makes it safer to use. Other than being sold as a powder or a meal, it is also available in the form of a pellet or liquid. Bone meal is confused with blood meal, but since bone is completely void of blood, it does not contain even the slightest bit of phosphorous, but it does contain nitrogen (an element that blood is meal is famous for).
What does Bone Meal do for Plants?
Phosphorous is present in huge quantities in bone meal as it is an essential item for an organic grower. It is also packed with other energetic nutrients. Bone meal is extremely rich in nitrogen and calcium, which is ideal for bulbs and other flowering plants. It is organic and eco-friendly and is easy to spread all over the soil, and in addition to that, it is affordable as well.
As mentioned earlier, bone meal is rich in nitrogen and calcium. When using fertilizers that contain high quantities of calcium and phosphorus, they help plants produce higher yields of fruits and seeds. It also enhances the root structure of the plants, which is beneficial for the newly developing ones. The consistent usage of nitrogen and calcium can prove to be extremely healthy for your plants as they protect the plant from contracting any diseases, help fight pests, and encourage healthy and beautiful blooms.
How much Bone meal should I Use on plants?
Although there are not many negative aspects of using bone meal as anything used extra is harmful. Similarly, the bone meal should also be used moderately. If you think that your plants require additional nutrients other than Phosphorus, you can definitely add different fertilizers and the bone meal, as it is not balanced 100%. Do not use bone meal alone on a seed that you would later harvest. Since the bone meal is made completely out of animal bones, you should be mindful that its smell can attract other pests and scavengers to the garden. So, while using it, always remember to mix it properly into the soil.
Bone meal is a tricky thing to keep as it attracts many pests and scavengers, so store it in a hidden place and away from the pests' reach. Another thing to keep in mind is that bone meal is a slow-release, and it takes time to work its magic. It will not act as a quick fix and will not provide the plant with an immediate nutrients boost. If your soil has a lower pH level than 7, it might work properly and effectively. But if your soil has quantities of alkaline, then it limits the nutrient uptake.
Too much usage of something always leads to bad outcomes, and bone meal has a similar case. Increased usage of bone meal can affect the working of other nutrients such as iron and zinc. It can make your plants turn pale and eventually yellow if you’re not vigilant about the quantities you use them in. Read our detailed guide on plant's nutrients & pH if you are not clear about your plants’ needs and nutrients requirements.
What Plants Can I Use Bone Meal On?
Although bone meal has proven to be beneficial for almost all soil-grown plants, a few are benefitting from it on a huge basis. Phosphorous is an essential element for plant growth. Without it, the plant cannot survive. And some plants take great advantage of bone meal. Flowering plants such as roses are mainly the ones that benefit largely from bone meal. In addition to that, many alliums such as garlic, leeks, and onions also take great advantage of bone meal. In addition to helping the flowering plants, the bone meal also helps in setting up a lawn. The nutrients in it aid the grassroots to develop stronger roots to have a better grip. Bone meal is also a great supplement of calcium for your plants and can be used on fruits, for example, tomatoes.
How do I Use Bone Meal On Plants?
Bone meal is one of the simplest fertilizers you’ll ever come across. From its application to its maintenance, nothing is complicated. The only reason you'll be using it would be to increase the quantity of Phosphorus in your plants' soil. It has an NPK nutrient profile of around 3-15-0 on average. The increased quantity of Phosphorus will provide enough nutrients for your plants to grow flowers. Since Phosphorus is present in the bone meal in heavier quantities, it is easily taken up by plants. But when it comes to the various techniques that bone meal should be used in, you need to think about how you would use it? How you choose to use it depends totally on you. Whether you want to use it as a fertilizer during the flowering season, as a soil amendment at the beginning of the season, or as a root drench at regular intervals – in this blog, you will learn everything about bone meals.
Using Bone Meal For Soil Amendment
If you want to use bone meal as a soil amendment, make sure you have tested your soil. The reason why you should get your soil tested is that if your soil has a pH level of more than 7, then the bone meal would not be as effective. So, you would want to alter your soil first. Once you are completely done with the testing, you must add the fertilizer at the rate of 10 pounds per 100 sq. feet and use it as a common soil amendment. As it requires time to activate, and it will slowly release into the soil over four months. So if you have added a high-nitrogen soil amendment to your soil, the addition of bone meal will help smooth to balance things out.
You can either choose to apply one after the other or both together. As a result, you'll get the most balanced blend of nutrients for your plants. We have a full-fledged guide on when and how to amend your soil garden for more added information to use a bone meal.
Using Bone Meal As A Fertilizer
If you are applying bone meal to a plant that blooms in the spring season, for example, bulb (onions), then use about half a teaspoon of the bone meal when you plant and scratch it into the soil properly all around the soil. Bone meal can also be used as fertilizer for plants that are already in the ground and are already growing. In order to do so, roughly sprinkle the bone meal all around the soil of your plant. You should also keep a keen eye on what other nutrients do the plants need. Because if you keep feeding them a bone meal and don’t give them enough organic fertilizer, they’ll develop nitrogen and potassium deficiencies. Remember to always apply bone meal during fall, when the weather is dry, and working on the top layer of the soil will become easier.
Using Bone Meal As A Root Drench
As mentioned earlier, bone meal is a versatile product, and there should be no surprise that it can act as a good root or tea drench. For hydroponics, the liquid form of the bone meal is an ideal nutrient. Or, if you want to customize your own, you can mix two tablespoons of bone meal to an entire gallon of water or liquid fertilizer.
The Perfect Bone Meal for Soil-Based Plants
Just as everything else is different in the world, the blend and balance of every bone meal are different. And if you have thought of growing the best plants, then using the best kind of bone meal is the only option. Garden supplies and pieces of equipment at Groindoor are hands-down the best that you can get. The products that we store and recommend to you are of high-quality, and the collection of our bone meal products is truly exceptional. And there is just one more product that we would like to highlight.
Down To Earth Bone Meal
FoxFarm Happy Frog® Steamed Bone Meal Fertilizeris a completely natural product. It is the best because it is listed by the OMRI (an extremely strict testing strategy) as an organic fertilizer. It has an NPK ratio of 3-12-0, which is the ideal source of Phosphorus for your plants. If you’re growing in coco, then it will give it a really good boost of nitrogen. This product can be used immediately when planting bulbs as it boosts and enhances growth.
Can I Make Bone Meal At Home?
If you don’t want to spend extra bucks and purchase bone meals and want to be sustainable, then you would want to gather some left-over bones at the dinner table and store them. Or if you don’t want to do that or have forgotten, you can always get some from the local butcher at a good price. To make the process of decomposition quicker, you can boil the bones for an hour in a pot of boiling water. Spread out the bones on a baking tray and heat them in the oven at 300 degrees for three hours. The heating process will kill the fungi, bacteria, and other pathogens and make the bones' grinding process much easier. Then sterilize the surface, spread out your bones, pound them with a metal mallet, and crush them into smaller pieces. After this, to make the bones even finer, you will pass the bones through another grinding process. A pestle, a mortar, or a store grinder should be doing it for you. You can use the powder in its dry form or either dilute it with water to use it in the liquid form.
The Usage Of Bone Meal In A Nutshell
If you are convinced about using bone meal for your plants and do not want to make the fertilizer at home from scratch, visit our website Groindoor and choose from the best garden tools and products. At Groindoor, we have everything that you would ever need while growing a single plant or an entire garden. So shop today and help your plants boost their growth!