Fertilizer is one of the most important factors for plant health. Currently, you can find many different types of fertilizers such as organic fertilizers, chemical fertilizers, blood meal, bone meal, or other fertilizers. The main effect of fertilizers is to provide nutrients in the soil to stimulate plant growth and health.
However, each type of fertilizer has a different composition and rate of release in the soil. Therefore, you need to find out information about fertilizers to suit each type of plant or soil quality. In this article, we will learn together about blood meal and the effect of this fertilizer on plants. How long does blood meal last in soil? How to apply this fertilizer and get the best effect?
How Long Does Blood Meal Last In Soil?
The blood meal is an organic fertilizer derived from the blood of animals in slaughterhouses. The animal’s blood will be dried and become an ideal fertilizer for plants. Blood meal is a slow-release fertilizer in the soil and usually lasts for 2-6 weeks. This fertilizer is available in powder or granular form in various sizes.
The exact duration of blood meal in soil depends on many different factors. Some of the basic factors such as organic materials, and the type of bacteria present in the soil and the environment are different. Blood meal has a different soil release time than compost, manure, bone meal, and other fertilizers. So, the blood meal’s decomposition time will depend on two basic factors below.
Bacteria In The Soil
After you fertilize the blood meal into the soil, the bacteria will be the first to eat the blood meal. Bacteria will break down the compounds in this fertilizer and release nutrients into the soil. This process will promote blood meal release in the soil and add nutrients to the soil.
Bacterial species in the soil will break down blood meal compounds by breaking down ammonia. If the soil environment is warm and humid, the decomposition rate of these bacteria will take place quickly. In addition, the rate at which nutrient compounds are released in the blood meal will depend on the number and type of bacteria present in the soil. If the quality of your soil is rich in bacteria, fungi, earthworms, and other organisms, the decomposition rate of the blood meal will be very fast.
The decomposition rate of blood meal is also affected by environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and pH. In addition, other factors such as the ratio of carbon to nitrogen, aeration, and porosity of the soil also affect the decomposition time of blood meal. To accelerate the release of nutrients in the blood meal, you need to provide an ideal environment for plants in terms of humidity, temperature, and pH.
How Can I Use Blood Meal Effectively?
To use blood meal to achieve the best effect, you can use it according to the measures below. Before using any fertilizer, you also need to find out the dosage information and use the time of that fertilizer to achieve the best effect.
- Check the nitrogen in the soil before applying blood meal because this fertilizer releases a large amount of nitrogen.
- Fertilize in spring for leafy vegetables, flowers, and plants to maintain energy for plants.
- Apply blood meal every two months during the growing season. Do not fertilize year-round and in winter when plants hibernate.
- Determine the appropriate range and dosage to avoid excessive stress. One cup for every 20 square feet of soil is the right amount for most plants.
- Mix blood meal with water and soil before watering the soil. Read the instructions for use carefully to dilute the blood meal with the right amount of water.
- Avoid using blood meal on seedlings or legumes.
- Control the amount of nitrogen in the soil when using blood meal because too much nitrogen will stimulate leaf growth but not flower and fruit.
Some Notes When Using Blood Meal For Plants
The blood meal is also a fertilizer, so you need to be careful about how to use it, how much, and when to use it to get the best effect. You should not overuse any fertilizer to overstimulate plants because plants will die from excessive stress. Here are a few important notes that you need to pay attention to when using blood meal.
Blood Meal Usage Time
For the best effect on plant health, you should apply a blood meal two weeks before starting planting or sowing seeds. This time is enough for the bacteria to break down the nutrient compound and provide enough energy for the plants at an early stage. In particular, blood meal has a very high nitrogen content so if you fertilize at the wrong time, the plants can be burned or overstressed. You can maintain blood meal every two months for plants, especially during their growing phase.
Using the right amount of fertilizer is important for good plant health. You should only apply 1 cup per 20 square feet of soil. In addition, for each plant species, you can apply a different dosage according to the manufacturer’s recommendations for the best effect.
If you fertilize too much blood meal, the excess nitrogen in the soil will cause water loss for the plants. Plants will be burned and overstressed. In particular, it will also affect the flowering and fruiting of plants if you fertilize too much.
Which Plants Prefer Blood Meal?
A blood meal is high in nitrogen, so plants favor high amounts of nitrogen such as cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, radishes, lettuce, corn, and squash. In addition, cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts will also grow well with this fertilizer.
Also, if you notice plants not maintaining green, pale, or yellow leaves, the cause could be a nitrogen deficiency. Meanwhile, nitrogen is one of the nutrients that have no stability in the soil. It can disappear quickly even after you add fertilizer. Therefore, a blood meal would be an ideal solution for nitrogen-deficient plants.
Can Blood Meal Repel Animals?
You can sprinkle blood meal on the ground to deter garden pests such as rabbits, deer, or small pests. However, blood meal can also attract large carnivores to destroy your garden. The reason is that blood meal comes from the blood of animals, so other animals can come to hunt when they smell blood.
Also, you should not sprinkle too much blood meal directly on the soil because plants can die from excessive stress. In particular, it also drifts when it rains heavily and causes waste for you. You should also find and use blood meals of clear origin and good quality to protect the environment.
A blood meal is also one of the effective fertilizers that many gardeners use. In particular, you can use this fertilizer to enhance the nitrogen content of the soil. So plants can maintain their green color and good health. The decomposition time of blood meal in the soil is usually 2 to 6 weeks. The rate of decomposition of this fertilizer also depends on many factors such as environment, temperature, humidity, pH, or species of bacteria in the soil.
When using this fertilizer, you need to control the nitrogen content in the soil because too much nitrogen will prevent the plants from flowering and fruiting, instead, the plants will only develop more leaves and stems. Do not over-fertilize because plants will burn leaves, dry, and die due to too much nitrogen.