Liquefying Dried Bone Meal?

Asked June 1, 2015, 12:22 AM EDT

I have dry, powdered bone meal in a bag that I would like to liquefy to make it more readily available to my plants. Any help, or where I could look for help? Jim

Josephine County Oregon

3 Responses

After checking several scientific sources, I can find no information on liquefying bone meal. And nothing that tells me what the effects on plants would be or what ratio you should use. Many gardeners use powdered bone meal when planting individual plants such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. Since bone meal liquefies when mixed in water, my assumption would be to put the bone meal in the bottom of the planting hole, add whatever other amendments you want to use, then cover with a thin layer of soil. Plant your plant, backfill, then water well. The bone meal should liquefy and be available to the roots when they start reaching out. OSU puts out a publication about fertilizing, when and how much at this link

Thank you. I asked because liquid bone meal is quickly available to the plants, and, also expensive. If one could properly liquefy dry bone meal, they would save money. One company that makes their own liquid bone meal, told me they use fulvic acid to break down the bone meal over a long period.

This non-scientific source offers some advice on how to liquefy bone meal. Go to the end of the article: It does not offer advice on what concentration to use. I see that liquid bone meal is offered for sale by commercial sources to be used as a foliar spray.

The University of Minnesota extension explains about a phosphorus fertilizer:

"Should I Use Liquid or Dry? The utilization of P by plants is not affected by the liquid or dry property of the fertilizer. Plant nutrient use in both liquid and dry fertilizers is affected by such factors as method of application, crop and root growth characteristics, soil test levels, and climatic conditions. The amount of water in a fluid fertilizer is insignificant compared to the water already present in the soils. Therefore, P in liquid P sources is not more available than P in dry materials — even in a dry year."

I wish I could be more definite in my answer, but I have to rely on scientific evidence rather than commercial sources, and I am not finding anything that suggests liquid bone meal is more effective than dry.