Nitrogen deficient gardening mix

Asked April 20, 2016, 2:05 PM EDT

I recently had garden mix delivered. I was told that it was 30%topsoil, 30% organic compost and 30% sand. Just for kicks I tested the soil and surprisingly the nitrogen was completely depleted. Did I get what I paid for? Can I add bone meal as an organic way to add nitrogen before planting my vegetable plants and/or seeds (I have read that it also deters rabbits) or is there another way to organically add nutrients that would be available to the plants immediately.

McHenry County Illinois

1 Response

Nitrogen is the element that needs to be added to every crop in order to achieve the highest yield. Plants use a lot of nitrogen and it is lost from the soil more rapidly than other elements. For this reason testing it in the soil is not really necessary.
Bone meal is not a very rich source of nitrogen. Blood meal is another organic fertilizer and it contains much more nitrogen. Organic sources of nitrogen are generally going to take longer to provide their nutrients but do so over a longer period of time. They are much more expensive than synthetic fertilizers for the amount of fertilizer they provide.
Did you test the soil with a do-it-yourself kit? Laboratory tests are much more accurate and will actually tell you what you need to add to grow vegetables. I would recommend this. U of MO soil test info is located here:
http://soilplantlab.missouri.edu/soil/soilsamples.aspx