What is Bone Meal Fertilizer?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 31 December 2018
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Bone meal fertilizer is a type of organic fertilizer made from the bones of various animals. It is desired by many gardeners because it is high in phosphorus and calcium. The product might also help prevent diseases in some vegetables. This product can normally be used by sprinkling it around the base of a plant, working the meal into the soil, and watering it.

The bones of cows, pigs, and sheep are most often used to make this product. Bones are taken from the animals after they have been slaughtered, then steamed and sterilized in order to kill any bacteria or disease. After they have been made sanitary, the bones are crushed into very fine pellets, and then packaged.

This fertilizer is normally purchased in large bags at a garden supply store. It may be light brown or tan in color. Bone meal fertilizer is normally fine granules that are approximately the same consistency as other types of fertilizer. A light dusty powder may sometimes coat the granules or appear in the air after the product has been spread.


One of the effects of bone meal fertilizer is that it adds a great deal of phosphorus and calcium to the soil. For this reason, it is often used with bulbed flowers, such as daffodils and tulips. It also raises the alkalinity of the soil, which is beneficial to many shrubs and small trees. Tomatoes often benefit from this product because it helps reduce some of the diseases that might affect tomato crops.

Bone meal fertilizer can be used by sprinkling it on the ground around the base of plants. After doing so, the product should be worked into the ground with a small hand rake. Watering the plants shortly after applying the fertilizer helps with calcium absorption.

The fertilizer could also be mixed with potting soil before specimens are planted. This method is often preferred by people who practice container gardening because the product can be more evenly mixed. It could also be spread over a newly plowed garden and tilled into the soil with a roto-tiller.

Bone meal fertilizer does not contain any harmful chemicals, so it can be an ideal choice for organic gardeners. People who use this product do not need to be concerned with water runoff, which can cause river and stream pollution. This can make it a good choice for people who are concerned with protecting the environment and growing healthy produce.



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