Gardening can be a rewarding and therapeutic hobby.
The joy of watching your plants grow, flower, and bear fruit is unmatched.
But for your plants to thrive, the soil in which they grow must be rich in nutrients.
One such nutrient-rich supplement that can make a difference is bone meal fertilizer.
This guide will take you through everything you need to know about bone meal fertilizer – from its benefits to how to use it properly.
In This Article
What is Bone Meal?
Bone meal is a type of organic fertilizer made from finely ground animal bones, often a by-product of the meat industry.
It’s rich in phosphorus and calcium, nutrients that are essential for plant growth.
Depending on the processing method, bone meal can come in a few forms, including steamed bone meal, raw bone meal, and bone char, each with its unique nutrient profile.
Benefits of Bone Meal for Plants
The nutrient composition of bone meal is what makes it an attractive option for gardeners.
High Phosphorus Content: Bone meal is an excellent source of phosphorus, a nutrient that is essential for photosynthesis and helps plants store and transfer energy.
Rich in Calcium: Calcium helps in the formation of cell walls and promotes stronger roots and stems.
Potential Nitrogen Content: Although not as high as in other fertilizers, bone meal can contain some nitrogen, which is essential for plant growth.
Balances Other Soil Amendments: When used in conjunction with other organic materials, bone meal can help create a balanced nutrient profile in the soil.
Benefits for Organic Gardening: Since it’s a by-product of the meat industry, using bone meal supports waste reduction and sustainability.
Slow Release: Bone meal breaks down slowly, providing a long-term nutrient source for your plants.
Promotes Stronger Flowering Plants: The phosphorus in bone meal encourages blooming and fruiting, making it ideal for flowering plants and fruit trees.
Knowing your plants well and understanding their needs can help you decide when bone meal might be beneficial.
For example, bulbs, roses, and fruit trees often benefit from bone meal application.
Using Bone Meal in the Garden
Before applying bone meal, it’s essential to test your soil pH as bone meal is most effective in soil with a pH of 7 or below. Once you’ve tested your soil, follow these steps:
Dig a hole that’s approximately twice as wide as the root ball of your plant.
Sprinkle the recommended amount of bone meal into the hole.
Mix the bone meal with the soil.
Place your plant in the hole and backfill with the soil and bone meal mixture.
Remember, bone meal is a slow-release fertilizer, so it won’t provide immediate results.
Patience is key! The frequency of application will depend on the specific needs of your plants and the results of your soil test.
Cautions and Concerns
While bone meal is generally safe, there are a few concerns to bear in mind:
Safety for Children and Pets: Bone meal can be harmful if ingested in large amounts, so keep it out of reach of children and pets.
Environmental Impact: Overuse of bone meal can contribute to nutrient runoff, which can harm local waterways.
Mad Cow Disease: There’s a small risk that bone meal could carry the prion that causes Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (Mad Cow Disease). However, this risk is minimal, especially if the bone meal is sourced from safe, reputable sources.
What are some good Bone Meal Fertilizer brands?
Are you ready to add bone meal to your gardening and planting life?
Get yourself some quality and affordable bone meal fertilizers from trusted brands.