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The terms blood meal and bone meal may not sound too pretty, but the substances themselves have it in them and can provide minerals and proteins in a simple way and above all in the long term. As fertilizer they were popular for these reasons for a long time. Those who value biological fertilization can still enjoy the benefits of these fertilizers today and even produce them themselves.
bone-mealWhat the bone meal is, the name suggests. The substance used as a fertilizer, among other things, consists of ground bones. Beforehand, the bones are freed of meat remains, tendons and other residues and washed. In special machines, the so-called bone mills, they are then finely ground.
Bones serve as flour, for example, as fertilizer but also as feed. In both cases, it should be known if the animals from which the bones originated were in good health - because even cooking or otherwise high temperature sterilization does not eliminate all pathogens.
This also leads to the fact that the ground bones came into disrepute. As a hypothetical carrier of BSE agents, farmers did not want to take the risk of feeding or fertilizing the particular meal. Finally, the biological fertilizer was legally banned as a feed additive and nutrient source for crops. The prohibitions have been relaxed. The bad reputation is the flour from animal bones but unfortunately remained. It has to offer some advantages especially in fertilization. These include:
- Long-term effect due to slow decomposition
- natural compounds
- simple application
- high calcium and phosphorus content
Bone meal fertilizerCalcium and nitrogen as well as comparatively much phosphorus are contained in the ground bones. Phosphors need plants on the one hand for a strong and healthy growth of the roots, on the other hand for the formation of chlorophyll and thus for all green plant parts but also for the flowers and fruits.
Among other things, calcium in the animal skeleton has the function of stabilization. The same applies to the plants. The mineral is built into the cell walls and is involved in the stiffening, he also contributes to the functionality. Calcium plays a similarly important role in the soil itself. It can improve the quality of the substrate by stabilizing the structure. This prevents slurries and - less interesting in the garden or bucket - erosion. In addition, calcium promotes biological activity in the soil, has a beneficial effect on the conversion of organic material in the substrate and has an influence on the pH value. In the form of lime calcium is therefore also used to neutralize or alkalize the substrate.
Nitrogen is well known to most newbies in gardening and fertilizing and is considered one of the most important plant foods ever. Plants need it for growth, it is part of all enzymes and thus several times required for the health of the plants. If there is no nitrogen in the soil, this will be visible very quickly, especially on the lawn. Here actually unwanted plants, such as clover and dandelion, spread between the grass.
In combination, blood meal and bone meal are both a fast and long-lasting effective fertilizer. They are also used to improve soil quality. The blood enriches the occurrence of trace elements and nitrogen and is due to the protein content of useful soil dwellers downright a "found eating". This means that microorganisms and other living things are increasingly attracted and thereby increase soil quality. In contrast, the ground bones stabilize the soil structure and thus also contribute to the quality of the substrate.
Tip: In order to increase the availability of the blood meal or its constituents, it can be sprinkled dry and the soil then moistened. Likewise it can be dissolved in water and the plants are poured with it.
Make blood mealBlood meal is dry and therefore more durable. As a finished liquid fertilizer, they usually contain preserving ingredient, so they actually remain liquid and do not spoil.
But if you want to use blood for fertilization, you can use it in other ways. The simplest option is to dilute fresh blood from your own slaughter or a trusted source with water and use it for watering. The drying is completely eliminated here. Instead, the blood can be frozen and thawed if necessary.
Alternatively, the blood can be dried and preserved in this way. The procedure is as follows:
The blood is placed in shallow vessels with the largest possible surface to promote evaporation. The thinner the blood layer, the faster it dries.
At 50° C, the animal's blood is dried in the oven or allowed to stand for one to two days until it dries. However, caution is advised here, since mildew can form on the nutrient-rich liquid in the air and when drying without an oven.
If the blood is completely dried and no longer gelatinous or seems to shine moist, it is broken from the containers. The mass should be stiff and brittle, not leathery before being processed further.
The fragments can now be processed in a blender, a coffee grinder or a mortar to powder. The resulting blood meal should be stored dry, airtight and cool.
Tip: An addition of rice grains can preserve the flowability and thus simplify the subsequent use as a fertilizer. In addition, care should be taken to ensure that the blood meal is really dry before it is stored.
Bone meal and blood meal can be produced under certain conditions, but in any case are wonderful and easy to apply fertilizers for ornamental and crop plants. While fresh blood and blood meal ensure fast and short-term care, bone meal is a simple and inexpensive long-term fertilizer. Optimal and with little effort is the combined use in the garden.