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Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

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Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  buttaflie143 on 5/12/2011, 10:39 pm

After conducting some research in the forum, it appears that periodically MM lacks one of three very important nutrients - nitrogen, (the other two are phosphorus and potassium), resulting from a deficiency in the compost. MM requires 5 different types of compost in hopes of alleviating this type of problem, but unfortunately it still happens.

Another SFGer found her compost did not have any nitrogen and Old Hippie made this recommendation:

Please see the info. from this post (found in this thread: http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t5674-compost-depleted-in-nitrogen?highlight=nitrogen)

Re: Compost depleted in nitrogen?

Old Hippie on 3/20/2011, 12:07 pm

...One of the reasons five types of compost are recommended is to give you a good blend with all the nutrients your garden needs...If...you ...find that your compost needs nitrogen, it is fairly easily fixed. Feather meal carries a N-P-K analysis of 13-0-0 while blood meal is 12-0-0. It makes an excellant addition to finished compost as a pre-plant fertilizer. It degrades more slowly than blood meal or grain meals so won't heat up the compost and there is less chance of you burning your seedlings with too much nitrogen...When you mix the blood meal in your compost instead of fertilizing your plants with it, it cuts down on the chance of leaf "burn".

Fish meal is another good one, although has a bit more balance...10-6-2. It releases it's nutrients fairly quickly once temps get above 60F (16C) so works well in warm weather.
(This info is plagiarized from my compost bible......The Complete Compost Gardening Guide by Barbara Pleasant and Deborah Martin.)...


Gwynn


____________________________
So in lieu of the above information, would it be safe for anyone who purchases a premade mix or for someone who cannot get their hands on five different composts to consider adding bone or blood meal (or fish meal for more balance) at the outset (when mixing or prior to planting)? What are your thoughts on this proactive, precautionary measure?

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  Furbalsmom on 5/12/2011, 11:25 pm

I really don't want to add any amendments to my Mel's Mix unless I need it.

If you don't need it, and use an amendment, you may end up having too high a nitrogen level. Causes great leaf growth, but cuts down on root and fruit growth.

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  Patty from Yorktown on 5/13/2011, 7:22 am

An other opinion says "I do it." Just follow the directions on the package and hold your nose. I add the bone and blood meal at the beginning of gardening season and follow up with fish emulsion once a month. Happy gardening.

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  Barkie on 5/13/2011, 10:37 am

@buttaflie143 wrote:
So in lieu of the above information, would it be safe for anyone who purchases a premade mix or for someone who cannot get their hands on five different composts to consider adding bone or blood meal (or fish meal for more balance) at the outset (when mixing or prior to planting)? What are your thoughts on this proactive, precautionary measure?




I think some people might read it as an ok to take a
shortcut if they can't easily get 5 together. 3 types might be fine but the idea of at least 5 is, I'd have thought,
so that it will more likely contain most, if not all, of the secondary and trace
nutrients as well as the primary, (N P and K) in adequate amounts. It's very unfortunate but even with a premixed or your own 5 types blend Nitrogen is the most easily lost. I use blood fish and bonemeal in the garden.

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  sfg4uKim on 5/13/2011, 11:39 am

A neighbor gave me partial bags of bone & blood meal because she was moving. While I had them stored in my greenhouse my dogs went NUTS putting a hole in the bags and eating the contents.

The bags are now with a neighbor who does NOT have dogs.

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  ashort on 5/13/2011, 2:36 pm

@Barkie wrote:
@buttaflie143 wrote:
So in lieu of the above information, would it be safe for anyone who purchases a premade mix or for someone who cannot get their hands on five different composts to consider adding bone or blood meal (or fish meal for more balance) at the outset (when mixing or prior to planting)? What are your thoughts on this proactive, precautionary measure?




I think some people might read it as an ok to take a
shortcut if they can't easily get 5 together. 3 types might be fine but the idea of at least 5 is, I'd have thought,
so that it will more likely contain most, if not all, of the secondary and trace
nutrients as well as the primary, (N P and K) in adequate amounts. It's very unfortunate but even with a premixed or your own 5 types blend Nitrogen is the most easily lost. I use blood fish and bonemeal in the garden.

I put five types of compost together, but I beleive most of the commercial composts at the big box stores are of low quality and either have a bad mix of raw ingredients or are not allowed to "cook" long enough. That being said, when I replanted for summer, I mixed up two good composts and added bone and blood meal and have had much better results than I had during spring...

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  walshevak on 5/13/2011, 3:39 pm

I just posted this in another thread, but it pertains here as well.


I had an interesting conversation with the owner of an organic gardening store this morning. We were talking about bagged composts and he asked me if any of my pepper plants were looking a little yellow. I said actually 1 is. The other squares are all looking very green. He was saying that so many of the cow manure composts are not fully composted and just done enough so that it doesn't burn the plants. He said that it's possible that that one area of my blended composts is not as well mixed as the others and that the still composting manure is stealing the nitrogen. He gave me a gallon jug of brewed compost tea and said "here, try this". So I came home and poured some on all the peppers. This store gives a gallon of compost tea each time you visit the store if you bring your own jug.



Kay


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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  buttaflie143 on 5/13/2011, 3:43 pm

That is wonderful. I am giving the plants until Sunday to perk up (hopefully we will have more sun than the rain they are forcasting). Then moving on to step 2. I am going to try to find an organic garden store here in Raleigh or the surrounding area. It would be worth the drive. Thanks.

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  walshevak on 5/13/2011, 3:50 pm

If you need a day trip to the beach, this store is in Wilmington. Progressive Gardens on Oleander out near the Arboreteum. I stop in every time I'm in town. I love talking to the guy. I picked up their card today so I can post on the vermiculite database. They also had a 25lb bucket of worm castings and sell worms for vermiculture.

Kay

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  buttaflie143 on 5/13/2011, 3:54 pm

Very Happy You read my mind.

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  elliephant on 5/13/2011, 7:35 pm

Funny you should post this now. I just bought some bone meal yesterday. I'm having trouble getting a decent compost blend together for replenishing my squares right now, so I decided to mix the compost I do have with some blood and bone meal.

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  Barkie on 5/14/2011, 7:56 am

@ashort wrote:
@Barkie wrote:
@buttaflie143 wrote:
So in lieu of the above information, would it be safe for anyone who purchases a premade mix or for someone who cannot get their hands on five different composts to consider adding bone or blood meal (or fish meal for more balance) at the outset (when mixing or prior to planting)? What are your thoughts on this proactive, precautionary measure?

I think some people might read it as an ok to take a shortcut if they can't easily get 5 together. 3 types might be fine but the idea of at least 5 is, I'd have thought,
so that it will more likely contain most, if not all, of the secondary and trace
nutrients as well as the primary, (N P and K) in adequate amounts. It's very unfortunate but even with a premixed or your own 5 types blend Nitrogen is the most easily lost. I use blood fish and bonemeal in the garden.

I put five types of compost together, but I beleive most of the commercial composts at the big box stores are of low quality and either have a bad mix of raw ingredients or are not allowed to "cook" long enough. That being said, when I replanted for summer, I mixed up two good composts and added bone and blood meal and have had much better results than I had during spring...

I think you are right and poor storage (bags left out in the rain) wouldn't help either. I've opened some of my bags and one of them has woody bits which don't compost for a long time. I'm going to riddle that through a screen. One I have found which is a horse manure produced by a gardener looks and feels much better than the ones made by the big commercial outfits.

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  Bristow on 5/14/2011, 4:56 pm

Re: Compost depleted in nitrogen?

Old Hippie on 3/20/2011, 12:07 pm

...One of the reasons five types of compost are recommended is to give you a good blend with all the nutrients your garden needs...If...you ...find that your compost needs nitrogen, it is fairly easily fixed. Feather meal carries a N-P-K analysis of 13-0-0 while blood meal is 12-0-0. It makes an excellant addition to finished compost as a pre-plant fertilizer. It degrades more slowly than blood meal or grain meals so won't heat up the compost and there is less chance of you burning your seedlings with too much nitrogen...When you mix the blood meal in your compost instead of fertilizing your plants with it, it cuts down on the chance of leaf "burn".

Fish meal is another good one, although has a bit more balance...10-6-2. It releases it's nutrients fairly quickly once temps get above 60F (16C) so works well in warm weather.
(This info is plagiarized from my compost bible......The Complete Compost Gardening Guide by Barbara Pleasant and Deborah Martin.)...


Gwynn


Hi Gwynn,

We make our own compost and bought some chicken and sheep doodoo as well, just in case. Will that make a good mix? Should we add the manure to our compost before we mix it with the vermiculite and peat moss? Not sure there would be room in the composter at this point. I was thinking of adding the doodoo as we measure for the content of 1 box, i.e. 1 part compost, 1 part, sheep doodoo, 1 part chicken doodoo and mix it with the other 2. Would that make a well balanced compost?

Sorry but I don't know what "blood meal" or "grain meal" is.

Thanks,

Dee

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  buttaflie143 on 5/14/2011, 5:09 pm

Is it composted sheep and chicken manure? Adding manure that has not been properly composted directly to your garden can cause problems, for example chicken manure can burn plants if it is not properly composted.

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  Bristow on 5/14/2011, 5:28 pm

@buttaflie143 wrote:Is it composted sheep and chicken manure? Adding manure that has not been properly composted directly to your garden can cause problems, for example chicken manure can burn plants if it is not properly composted.



Hi buttaflie 143,

No, no, the stuff is fully composted, I made sure of that. I've been reading Mel's book over and over and got the proper info. The thing is, I'm extremely eager to start but the rain is impeding my progress (the forecast calls for rain until next weekend) and the stress of being delayed makes me forget what I've already learned from the book... either that or old age is kicking in Rolling Eyes .

Hubby is building some boxes in the rec room downstairs right now (and he calls me impatient!!!) so that we can get something planted as soon as the rain lets up.

But thanks for the info! I wouldn't have known that about the chicken manure.

Dee (the wife)

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  buttaflie143 on 5/14/2011, 5:41 pm

I'm glad I could help a little. And wouldn't you know it. My sister-in-law lives in Quebec. I am in love with Mont Tremblant. You've got a pretty short window for warm weather crops, right?

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  fustian on 5/14/2011, 9:17 pm

I'm the person who originally posted that their compost was depleted in nitrogen.

I had already mixed and filled two boxes at that point (I have eight boxes), but I decided to add blood meal to the remaining boxes as I mixed my MM. I have also treated all of my plants with liquid fish emulsion twice so far and intend on treating a few more times as the season progresses.

I realize now that I'm paying the price for not sourcing and mixing five good types of compost. When I top off my boxes with compost I'm going to make sure to try to get the best compost I can (and add in some of my home-brewed from my pile started last year).

So far, my plants are looking pretty good. Today is our frost date, so I don't have a ton of stuff in the garden, but the things I do have (lettuce, peas, onions) seem to be doing OK. Some of my broccoli plants are struggling, but I think that may be due to my lack of experience with hardening off seedlings. My garlic, which was planted last year - and thus is in an un-treated with blood meal box - seems to be doing well. A couple of the plants either didn't come up or fizzled, but 90% of them seem OK.

I'm planning on keeping a close eye on things this year and adding organic fertilizer as I think it is warranted.

I wish it was easier to determine whether a compost is of good "quality" or not before purchase.

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  westie42 on 5/14/2011, 10:20 pm

I think I have a good small feed and seed merchant for most of my supplies. He told me the other day that the sheep manure and compost had very little nutrient value which surprised me a lot and got me thinking that mite be true in other cases which leads me to believe it is darn hard to tell the quality of what you are buying. Someone in here said that compost is ready when there is a buyer for it that would likely in my opinion be a supplier or big or bargain chain source. Yes carefully and thoughtfully building your own compost is the best and possibly the only way to be in control of growing medium quality.

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  Barkie on 5/15/2011, 6:08 am

@westie42 wrote:I think I have a good small feed and seed merchant for most of my supplies. He told me the other day that the sheep manure and compost had very little nutrient value which surprised me a lot and got me thinking that mite be true in other cases which leads me to believe it is darn hard to tell the quality of what you are buying. Someone in here said that compost is ready when there is a buyer for it that would likely in my opinion be a supplier or big or bargain chain source. Yes carefully and thoughtfully building your own compost is the best and possibly the only way to be in control of growing medium quality.

I agree that manures and compost have less nutrient value by volume when compared to fertilisers but part of the value of manures is that they are bulky organic matter which hold water and keep the soil structure open which fertilisers don't do.

I found this page on how much NPK are typically in manures, including sheep manure, compost and organic fertilisers interesting.
http://www.allotment.org.uk/fertilizer/npk-manures-compost.php

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  jerzyjen on 5/15/2011, 9:33 am

I'm glad this post came up. I have never tested my MM before, but thinking about it, even though I do add the fresh compost I have some mix out there that is in its 3rd season. I just tested it, and low and behold I"m on the low side of nitrogen. Not depelted, but low. I guess I'll see what happens to one box if I add in some blood meal. I don't want to over do it, but my peppers look pathetic and I've noticed my lettuce seems to be smaller than what I'm used to from past harvests. Wish me luck, and thanks to the posters for getting me to check it.

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Re: Adding Bone meal and/or Blood meal to Compost?

Post  camprn on 5/15/2011, 9:55 am

@jerzyjen wrote:I'm glad this post came up. I have never tested my MM before, but thinking about it, even though I do add the fresh compost I have some mix out there that is in its 3rd season. I just tested it, and low and behold I"m on the low side of nitrogen. Not depelted, but low. I guess I'll see what happens to one box if I add in some blood meal. I don't want to over do it, but my peppers look pathetic and I've noticed my lettuce seems to be smaller than what I'm used to from past harvests. Wish me luck, and thanks to the posters for getting me to check it.

I like to give all my leafy things (spinach, chard, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc) a wee boost now and then. Early in the growing phase of peppers, toms and aubergine, I will give them a dose too.
Dried blood, it is like sand so I use a cup and very lightly sprinkle it on and around the plant getting the attention, then I water; used every few weeks, I am quite pleased with the results. Very Happy

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