Bone Meal

I bought a bag of bone meal to add to the soil when I transplant my tulips. Why is bone meal a good fertilizer for flower bulbs and rose bushes? Is any fertilizer high in phosphate just as good as bone meal?.
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"BONE MEAL [bone meal] finely ground bone used as a fertilizer for its content of phosphate and nitrogen (about 23%-30% available phosphate and 2%-4% nitrogen); it is an expensive form of phosphoric acid when compared with superphosphates . Bone meal is also fed to farm animals to supply needed mineral food constituents, e.g., calcium and phosphorus. " From the Columbia Encyclopedia. Bone meal is expensive, but works fine for organic gardeners. Should I need phosphate I use superphosphate or a fertilizer with a high middle number. BUT only after a soil test to determine that I need it.
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higgledy wrote:

Phosphorus promotes flowers, fruits, and roots. The calcium in bone meal also promotes roots.
Bone meal must be processed by soil bacteria to release the phosphorus and calcium. I use bone meal in flower pots and other containers because this processing is sufficiently slow that I don't worry about roots getting burned.
In the ground, I generally use superphosphate, making sure there is a layer of unenriched soil between the plant, bulb, etc and the enriched soil. In this case, root burn is generally not a problem.
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David E. Ross
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Thanks David and FarmerDill. Can you offer a brandname of a superphosphate?
Thanks again.

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Bone meal is particularly high in phosphorus. It is "organic" and by nature a slow release fertilizer, great for tubers and bulbs. Rock phosphate (crushed limestone) is another good fertilizer very high in phosphorus. Dried seagull bird poop is another source of phosphorus, although to a lesser extent than the two mentioned. Personally, I use fish emulsion and composted cow manure on my roses with excellent results.
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wrote:

where do you get your dried seagull poop from? The pacific island of Nauru was a rich source of guano (bird shit) that got mined extensivley after ww2 I believe and used as the basis for superphosphate. It made the island mega rich at one point. Now the interior of the island resembles a moonscape. Essentially rooted. We had a good hand in that, spreading phosphate over our pasture for 3 decades. http://www.pacific-picture.de/deutsch/nauru.htm http://www.monitor.net/monitor/0304a/nauru.html
Personally, I use

where do you source your cow poop from? how is it collected?
rob
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higgledy wrote:

By the way, whether you use bone meal or superphosphate, it must be in the soil where plant roots will find it. Phosphorus does not readily dissolve and travel through the soil. Broadcasting fertilizer on the soil's surface will not put phosphorus where it is needed.
If I want to provide phosphorus to an established plant, I must dig it into the soil where surface feeder roots will find it. Otherwise, I take a length of steel rebar and ram it into the soil about 18 inches near the plant I want to feed, work it around to make a hole, and then use a funnel to pour bone meal or superphosphate down the hole. I might do this for three or four holes around the plant.
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David E. Ross
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Somewhere I learned this fact about phosphorus not leeching into the soil readily. I placed one tsp. into each hole then the tulip bulb, per the directions on the bag.
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