Blood meal is a natural soil amendment that has been used by gardeners for centuries. It is made from dried blood that has been collected from slaughterhouses or meatpacking plants. Blood meal is a rich source of nitrogen, which is an essential nutrient for plant growth. It also contains other important minerals such as phosphorus and potassium.
Blood meal can be used in the garden in various ways. One of the most common uses is as a soil amendment to increase nitrogen levels. Gardeners can mix blood meal into the soil before planting or use it as a top dressing around established plants. It is particularly useful for vegetables that require a lot of nitrogen, such as corn, tomatoes, and peppers.
Another way to use blood meal in the garden is as a natural pest deterrent. The strong smell of blood can repel animals such as rabbits, deer, and squirrels. Sprinkling blood meal around the perimeter of the garden or on plants that are particularly vulnerable to animal damage can help deter these pests.
However, it is important to use blood meal properly in the garden. Overuse can lead to nitrogen burn, which can damage or kill plants. It is recommended to use blood meal in moderation and to follow the instructions on the packaging. It is also important to wear gloves and a mask when handling blood meal as it can be a respiratory irritant. We have a great blog post on 5 ways to use blood meal in the garden. Check it out!
How to Apply Blood Meal
Blood meal is a popular soil amendment that is made from dried animal blood. It is rich in nitrogen, which makes it an excellent choice for promoting healthy growth in plants. Applying blood meal in your garden is relatively simple and can provide your plants with the necessary nutrients to thrive.
Before applying blood meal, it is important to determine the nitrogen requirements of your plants. While nitrogen is essential for plant growth, too much of it can lead to excessive vegetative growth and reduced fruit and flower production. In general, leafy vegetables, like lettuce and spinach, require more nitrogen than fruiting plants, like tomatoes and peppers.
To apply blood meal, first, read the label to determine the recommended rate for your plants. Then, sprinkle the blood meal around the base of your plants, taking care not to let it touch the foliage, as it can burn the leaves. Lightly scratch the blood meal into the soil and water the plants thoroughly to help the nutrients dissolve and reach the roots.
It is important to note that blood meal can attract animals, like raccoons and dogs, so take care to avoid applying it near areas where these animals may be present. Also, because blood meal is high in nitrogen, it can quickly deplete from the soil, so it's recommended to apply it every four to six weeks during the growing season.
Overall, blood meal is an excellent organic fertilizer that can provide your plants with the necessary nitrogen for healthy growth. By following the recommended application rates and taking precautions to avoid attracting animals, you can help your plants thrive in your garden.