Blood Meal

Last Updated: April 10, 2017

Definition - What does Blood Meal mean?

Blood meal is a dry powder made from animal blood that is often used as an organic, nitrogen-rich fertilizer. It is often made from cattle or hog blood and is a slaughterhouse by-product. Blood meal is also used as a natural pest deterrent. Additionally, blood meal contains small amounts of phosphorus and potassium, and can raise acid levels in soil.

MaximumYield explains Blood Meal

As blood meal has a very high natural, non-synthetic level of nitrogen, it is used by many organic gardeners as a fertilizer. Blood meal releases nitrogen fairly quickly, and can help boost nitrogen levels in poor soil. For example, if a plot of soil has been through repeated plantings, like vegetable beds, it can have low levels of nitrogen. However, if blood meal is added, it can help significantly raise nitrogen levels.

Additionally, blood meal can be used to deter some pests like deer, moles, and squirrels. It is thought that the smell of the blood meal is unappealing to these particular animals.

Although blood meal is an excellent fertilizer, it is not without its downsides. Blood meal should be used carefully, and instructions on its application should be closely followed. Like many other fertilizers, blood meal can put too much nitrogen in the soil. If this happens, the excess nitrogen can prevent plants from flowering or fruiting, “burn” the plants, or possibly kill them. Blood meal can also attract certain kinds of pests like dogs, possums, raccoons, and other omnivorous animals.

Blood meal can be purchased at many big box stores, local nurseries, and feed stores. Also, it can be applied to plants or gardens in a couple of different ways. Since it is water soluble, it can be dissolved in water and used as a liquid fertilizer. It can also be mixed into the soil, or, when used as a pest deterrent, sprinkled on top of the soil.

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