Is Bone Meal Good for the Garden?

Bone meal, or bonemeal, is a common organic soil amendment and many consider it to be a good fertilizer. It is a “must add” when planting spring bulbs and it’s claimed to help plants establish after being moved by improving root growth. Plant not flowering? Add bone meal to make more flowers.

This sounds like a great product every gardener should use, but are the claims real or just myths?

Is Bone Meal Good for the Garden?
Is Bone Meal Good for the Garden?

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Fertilizer Garden Myths

A lot of the stuff on the internet is garbage when it comes to gardening advice. I am not surprised about that since many people just repeat what they have heard and give it very little thought. Some garden writers don’t actually do much gardening – they are writers, not gardeners. I rarely believe information unless it comes from experts in a field, government sites or published research articles.

This post is about an information guideline on fertilizers and soil amendments which is published by a government source – one you should be able to trust. Unfortunately it is full of incorrect or misleading advice. Let’s have a look at some fertilizer gardening myths.

fertilizer garden myths; Lobelia cardinalis X Lobelia siphilitica, by Robert Pavlis
Lobelia cardinalis X Lobelia siphilitica, grows just fine without added fertilizer, by Robert Pavlis

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Bone Meal Organic Fertilizer

Bone meal, also spelled bonemeal, is a recommended organic fertilizer that is a good source of phosphorous. Unless your soil test shows a deficiency of phosphorus don’t add it to the garden.

Bone meal organic fertilizer
Bone meal organic fertilizer

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