Bone meal is a popular organic fertilizer for gardens and flower beds, consisting of the ground-up bones of livestock. It contains nitrogen and phosphorous to nourish plants, as well as calcium, an important mineral for perennials. In addition, it is a natural slow-release fertilizer, releasing nutrients into the soil as the bone decomposes. It is a relatively simple task to make your own bone meal using leftover bones from cooking.
Things You'll Need
- Heavy canvas bag
- Rolling pin or meat tenderizer
- Blender or coffee grinder
Clean the meat and fatty tissue from leftover bones. If you can't remove all the tissue by scraping, boil the bones until they are clean.
Bake the bones at 400°F until they are thoroughly dry and brittle, about an hour for most small to medium bones. Set aside until cool.
Place the bones in a heavy tear-proof sack, preferably canvas. Using a rolling pin or meat tenderizer, smash the dried bones into fragments no larger than 1 inch.
Grind the bones in a coffee grinder or blender set to pulse.
Tips & Warnings
- A coarse bone meal will release its nutrients more slowly, while a fine powder will break down more quickly, providing a more powerful but short-lived nutrient boost.
- Bone meal may be added to your compost heap or mixed directly with the soil around the base of your plants.
- Poultry bones are easier to crush and grind than beef or pork bones. Keep this in mind if you lack a powerful blender or grinder.
- Don't attempt to smash or crush bones without enclosing them in a tear-proof sack. Flying bone fragments can cause serious damage to the eyes and can even nick unprotected skin.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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