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Applying bone meal to seedling pots


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#1 mega

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 01:20 AM

Greetings...
Today, I applied bone meal to 72 individual pepper seedling pots.
It occurred to me that there are really scant instructions on how to do this - e.g. how much bone meal to put on a plant, etc.
I thought this thread might be able to serve as a temporary repository of information on applying bonemeal to the early, pre-transplant, gardening effort.

After reading the side of the Bonemeal package and studying up the web, I concluded three main things:
- 1 tsp of bone meal is an appropriate amount of bone meal for a 4" cup
- the phosphates it gives off do not easily penetrate the soil. If the bone meal can be manually worked into the soil a bit, that is probably a good start. Otherwise, a thorough watering-in seems mandatory, followed by a rigorous watering schedule to try to get the stuff it contains to leach out. i have the impression if you let the bone meal sit on top of the dirt and don't actively work to get the phosphates to the roots, the effort can fail.
- all sources say be careful about bone meal touching your plants, but you really don't have that luxury with small nursery pot plants. You can put the bone meal at the side, but when you water it in, it will spread out, and hitting the plant is unavoidable. How bad that is, I guess I'll find out.

#2 Blister

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 10:10 AM

I found pretty much the same thing when looking around for info on bone meal. I asked the folks at the local nursery and was told no more than a pinch for a 6" pot. That works out to about 1tsp. And yes, it should be worked into the top few inches of the soil

#3 Burning Colon

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 11:00 AM

Curious as to why you want to add bonemeal to your 4" potted plants?
I have added bonemeal into my outside tomato garden for long term slow release phosphorous and calcuim but have never considered adding it to my small container plants.
If it is phosphorous you are looking for wouldn't a 10-52-10 work or if it is calcuim then just straight calcuim nitrate? (after all bonemeal is slow release and a tsp is such a small amount that by the time it became active you will have either repotted your plants or depending on where you live, have planted them outside).
Mark
Naga Viper is the hottest pepper in the world....Surely, you must be kidding.....No, I'm not kidding and don't call me Shirley - Leslie Nielsen, Airplane!

#4 Hinky

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 11:53 AM

I just mix the bonemeal in with my soil to use when I transplant. A few handfuls per wheelbarrow of soil, it works out to be about the same ratio.

#5 WGB

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 12:12 PM

two table spoons in a 5 gal. bucket has been working for me.

#6 FadeToBlack

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 05:12 PM

I add 3 table spoons to my 7 gallon pots and mix into the soil before tansplant.
I've never added it to small seedlings before so I'm not to sure on the amount you would use.
\m/ Growing darkness taking dawn. I was me, but now he's gone \m/

#7 bigt

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 10:40 AM

I always thought bone meal was a late season add to spur the 2nd wave of pods. I got away from using it when I switched to Osmocote.

#8 WGB

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 11:03 AM

it helps control blossom end rot too.

#9 FadeToBlack

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 11:44 AM

I always thought bone meal was a late season add to spur the 2nd wave of pods. I got away from using it when I switched to Osmocote.


I use it more as a calcium suppliment rather than a fertilizer.
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