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Tomatoes Don’t Have Meals Do They?

Before we begin today’s Blog…Don’t forget they “Run For The Roses” today! NBC will be covering the Kentucky Derby today with a 6:43 PM post time. This will be the 143rd Derby from Louisville, KY.
Alright, back to our regularly scheduled Tomato 411 Blog!!

OK….What do Bones, Fish, and Blood have in common? Well, it’s all in the title to this blurb on the Blog ☺
They all come in a form of fertilizer known as “Meal”…Bone Meal, Fish Meal, and Blood Meal. All of these “Meals” come from animals. They all have another common denominator, they are “Slow” release in nature. Bone meal and Fish meal are typically used on shrubs and trees, BUT they can be used in the garden with great success. Let’s take a look at all of them and get an education….

Bone Meal
Bone meal (or Bone manure) is a mixture of finely and coarsely ground animal bones and slaughter-house waste products. It is used as an organic fertilizer for plants and as a nutritional supplement for animals. Wow…..I’ll bet the PETA folks would have a conniption if they knew this!! Be that as it may, we now know where Bone meal comes from….BUT, bone meal is only readily available to the plant if the soil PH is below 7.0….Acidic….the very type our tomatoes like! Bone meal is made from the obvious source….Animal bones. Typically the bones are sterilized (steamed), dried, and then ground into a granular or powder form.

Fish Meal
Fish Meal is mostly made from fish that are not generally used for human consumption; a small portion is made from the bones and offal left over from processing fish used for human consumption, while the larger percentage is manufactured from sustainable, managed, and monitored fish stocks of wild-caught, small marine fish. It is powder or cake obtained by drying the fish or fish trimmings, often after cooking, and then grinding it. If the fish used is a fatty fish it is first pressed to extract most of the fish oil. Common fish types used include sardines, anchovy, horse mackerel, and pollock. These fish generally have high “Fish Oil” content and are not generally used for human consumption except those types that are specifically caught for the fish industry at large.

Blood Meal
Blood Meal is pretty much as the name implies….dried blood! Blood meal is a nitrogen amendment that you can add to your garden. Adding blood meal to garden soil will help raise the level of nitrogen and will help plants to grow more lush and green. The nitrogen in blood meal can also help raise the acid level of your soil, which is beneficial to some kinds of plants (READ Tomatoes) that prefer soils with low pH (acidic soil). Be careful to closely follow the instructions on how to apply the blood meal that you have purchased, as it is a very concentrated form of nitrogen. Too much nitrogen in the soil can, at best, keep the plants from flowering or fruiting, and at worst, burn the plants and possibly kill them. Blood meal is also used as a deterrent for some animals, such as moles, squirrels, and deer. It is thought the smell of blood meal is not appealing to these animals. BUT, it is also an attraction to other critters like dogs, raccoons, and opossums! So make sure they don’t have access to the garden….if possible ☺

So keep those Tomatoes Happy with the right fertilizers and garden care that will make those plants grow to their full potential!

Posted Saturday, May 6th, 2017 by by admin, under Tomato Nutrition, Tomato Science.

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