Thursday, 26 May 2011

Instead Of Bone Meal For Plants, We Now Use This

The SOUL Organic Land Care Standard says using bone meal for plants is only allowed if the product is guaranteed to be free of the prions associated with Mad Cow Disease. It is difficult to guarantee this and many scientists are concerned. Besides, we have better options.

What you use instead of bone meal for plants depends on how much effort you want to put into this, but the cost isn't much and neither is the time. There are the 3 products I generally use when planting in my organic garden.

These alternatives are in order of importance, in my opinion, so if you just want to keep it simple, use the first:

1. Mycorrhizal fungi wrap around plant roots to penetrate them, forming a special relation where the two organisms - the plant and the fungi - benefit each other. Believed to be vital in the evolution of trees, these fungi are very significant for plant health - a very important tool in organic gardening.

They do a lot of things, but are often specifically credited with bringing phosphorus to plant roots, which is a good thing because plants have a difficult time getting phosphorus out of the soil, since it is held very tightly. These fungi can actually supply more phosphorus than using bone meal for plants because the plant can actually obtain and use the phosphorus.

In addition to protecting the plant from root-feeding microorganisms, mycorrhizal fungi also helps in bringing other minerals and enough water to the plant, in exchange for some food from the plant.

Mycorrhizal fungi are found everywhere in nature, but are often lacking in our residential gardens. Fortunately, they can be purchased as a powder and should be applied directly to the roots or seed or in the planting hole whenever you are planting. They can also be watered into porous soils, and is often used after aeration of turf.

So as an alternative of using bone meal for plants, I often use mycorrhizal fungi in my organic garden.

2. Sea minerals is very concentrated, mineral-rich ocean water from the Pacific Ocean. It's an organic garden fertilizer that is so incredibly full of nutrients and life that it is the most wonderful broad-spectrum product to spray directly on your plants and soil.

According to many research studies, the benefits of sea minerals are astonishing. I've seen many benefits myself over the last 5 years. As an organic biostimulant, this is regularly my first choice.

3. Liquid kelp is different. It has many of the same nutrients as sea minerals, but you want to use it for its natural plant growth hormones that stimulate many processes in plants.

You only need to apply about 20ml per 1000 square feet, because we just need a small amount of these hormones, not too much.

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