When I first heard of adding a blood and bone meal to add to one’s compost I mentally gagged at the thought of what it may do to the vegetables I wanted to grow? We’ve all heard at one time or another that blood can become contaminated. How then can it be dug into our compost? The health implications made me shudder.
But I later learned that the blood is not used before it is dried, and the mixture of blood and bone is put through a steaming process to clean it. One can be assured then, that what you buy at the butchery is safe. I would, however, not recommend buying it from a butchery in a rural area where steaming facilities are not available. So there is no threat to one’s vegetable patch.
Because of its nitrogen fixing properties and its calcium and phosphorous nutrients. blood and bone mix is excellent for mixing into compost which will later be added to the soil in your vegetable garden. I would recommend, however, that you first have the soil tested for nutrient content. You don’t’ want, for instance, to have too much, for instance, as it will affect your vegetables and they may even die off.
The good news is – bone and blood m eliminates the need to buy fertilizer, and is probably cheaper.
The bottom line is – how can you best improve the soil in your vegetable garden AND save money? I can recommend Jonathan White’s article on composting. Here is an extract from his article on composting –
“Do you consider composting as just another way to dispose of unwanted vegetable waste, pruned branches, twigs, grass and leaves? Whilst this may be a valid solution to deal with rubbish, composting can be valuable option when used in the right way.
“For instance, compost builds valuable nutrients that will feed the soil in which you grow vegetables that will in turn one day, feed you and your family. I only use compost on my vegetable gardens. Manage your vegetable garden using compost, and it will become an integral part of the whole food production system. Creating compost is a way to collect nutrients in one form – waste – to turn it into another form – food.
“Most people throw away what is left over after preparing vegetables for a meal. In other words, they buy X amount of nutrients, take what they need for the moment, and discard the rest. That’s like throwing Dollars into the rubbish bin.
To “raise capital” on the discarded parts of the vegetables, put this “capital” to work in your vegetable garden. That way the nutrients will be used again and again without any cost to you.
“What a way to save money!
Composting creates a nutrient cycle on our property.
“We are part of that cycle because we consume the nutrients when they are, for a brief time, in a useful form. Then the discarded portion returns to the compost to slowly make their way into another useful form – then we consume them again.
“This cycle can continue indefinitely. Of course, some nutrients you will never see again. But with diligence you will be surprised how much compost you can create to generate more nutrients than you can recycle.
“My composting system is large because I have a few large vegetable gardens. I believe that the size of your vegetable garden should be determined by how much compost you can create, and not merely by the amount of space you have in your backyard.
“To run a rich, high yielding vegetable garden you need to have some sort of soil conditioning plan, and the best thing for your soil is a generous layer of good compost on the surface a few times per year. “
To read more, click on this link, COMPOSTING.