BULBS AND BLOOD MEAL…
Many people these days would like to use more organic forms of fertilizing for their gardens. This includes people who grow bulbs in their garden, too. One organic means of fertilizing your bulbs is to use blood meal.
Blood meal, as its name suggests, is made from blood. This blood is normally gathered at slaughterhouses and then dried and powdered.
Blood meal will add nitrogen to the soil. The nitrogen in the blood meal acts in a chain like effect to get your bulbs to produce bigger and better blooms. What happens is the blood meal will provide nitrogen to the soil. The nitrogen in the soil will help your bulbs to produce more foliage and leaves. The more foliage and leaves a bulb has, the more energy they can store away. With all the energy they can store up with the leaves, the bulbs can produce bigger and better blooms in the following year.
Of course, there is such thing as too much of a good thing. If you add too much blood meal to your bulbs, you will be giving them too much nitrogen. Too much nitrogen will cause a bulb to produce little to no flowers.
The question then becomes, how much blood meal should you add to your bulbs?
For bulbs that are already planted, the recommended amount of blood meal is about 2 – 3 pounds per 100 square feet. You can apply blood meal to already planted bulbs anytime when the foliage is not above ground. Most people apply blood meal in the Fall or late-Winter.
For bulbs you are just planting, you can sprinkle about a teaspoon or so of blood meal per bulb to the hole that you will be putting the bulbs in. Make sure you mix the blood meal in thoroughly with the dirt before you put the bulbs in so that there is an even distribution of blood meal in the soil. You may also wish to sprinkle the blood meal over the bulbs in the hole to help deter squirrels and chipmunks.
In deterring animals from disturbing or eating your bulbs, blood meal is a double-edged sword. Blood meal can help to keep bulb-eating animals, such as squirrels and chipmunks, away from your bulbs. But blood meal may encourage digging animals, such as dogs and cats, to dig in your bulbs beds. You may want to test using blood meal in a small area of your garden before using it all over. That way you will be able to tell how the neighborhood animals will react to it.
Blood meal can be found at both garden centers and feed store. You will probably get a better price on blood meal if you purchase it from a feed store.